Illustrative photo – The main entrance to the Czech Television building on the Kavčí hory in Prague.
Prague – The third act of approving controversial changes in the selection of councilors for Czech Television (ČT) and Czech Radio (ČRo) will continue today in the Senate. The MPs are also awaiting an extraordinary meeting called at the initiative of the opposition movement ANO on the proposal to freeze the salaries of top politicians for five years. At a regular meeting, members of the lower house should approve, for example, amendments to the rules for paying wages to employees for insolvent companies.
The lower house did not get to vote on the government amendment, which involves the Senate in the election of board members of both public media, even two weeks ago on Wednesday. The debate in the final round lasted for about 8.5 hours. The opposition MPs blame the coalition camp in connection with the draft of efforts to control Czech Television and Czech Radio and the June election of the general director of the television. Coalition politicians, on the other hand, claim that the aim of the changes is to strengthen the resistance of both media to possible political interference. Today, the House of Representatives is supposed to have only one hour to discuss the bill.
Roughly the same amount of time is reserved for the discussion of the five-year freeze on the salaries of top politicians, as presented in November 2021 by ANO chairman and former prime minister Andrej Babiš. This is the same amendment that was pushed through in the House of Representatives shortly before the last lower house elections by the ANO and ČSSD government at the time. However, the draft was subsequently rejected by the Senate as a populist pre-election gesture. The new post-election House of Representatives could no longer override the senate's veto.
It is expected that deputies will not start discussing Babiš's amendment itself. With regard to the coalition majority, the Chamber will not approve the draft program of the extraordinary meeting. The meeting will not take place. Before that, only speakers with priority rights will be able to speak.