The Parliamentary Immunity Committee did not initiate proceedings with Minister Černochová (ODS)

The Parliamentary Immunity Committee did not initiate proceedings with Minister Černochová (ODS)

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Balance press conference of the Minister of Defense of the Czech Republic Jana Černochová (ODS) on her first year in office. December 20, 2022, Prague.

Prague – The Parliamentary Mandate and Immunity Committee decided not to initiate disciplinary proceedings against the Minister of Defense and Member of Parliament Jana Černochová (ODS). Černochová faced the initiative of Jana Pastuchová and Jiří Mašek (both ANO) because of her January statements about slaves from ANO. The committee called these words unnecessarily harsh. ČTK was told this by its chairwoman Helena Válková (ANO).

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“The conditions for starting disciplinary proceedings were not fulfilled, but the speech was unnecessarily heated,” said Válková, referring to the committee's resolution. Černochová's statement delivered at the parliamentary plenary session was not directed directly at the person of the member of parliament. “After analyzing that sentence and that construction, we could only come to the conclusion that it does not meet the conditions according to the rules of procedure for starting disciplinary proceedings,” Válková added.

ANO deputies were outraged by Černochová's statement from the January television debate and subsequently at the plenary session. The minister had previously stated that the televised discussion dealt with the emotional campaign for the election of the president, which, according to her, was exacerbated by the chairman of ANO and the unsuccessful candidate Andrej Babiš and his movement. “On the other hand, we are here as the Czech Republic in a situation where a former prime minister, candidate for president, is threatening war here, with the support and loud applause of the slaves from ANO, who also agree with him in this sense,” Černochová declared at the time in the Party of Terezia Tománková on CNN Prime News.

The chairpersons of the ANO club, Alena Schillerová and Pastuchová then demanded an apology from the minister directly in the plenary session. Černochová responded that deputies receive a salary, and therefore cannot be slaves. “That you took my words on yourself is not my problem, it's your problem,” she declared. She quoted from a threatening e-mail of another unsuccessful presidential candidate, Danuša Nerudová, from which, according to the minister, it was evident that ANO supporters “are able and willing to do absolutely everything for the ANO movement as slaves”.

The day after that, Černochová did not respond during the parliamentary meeting, Pastuchová was asked to apologize for her words to Babiš's voters and supporters. The Chamber rejected the proposal of MP ANO that the plenum should deal with the minister's apology as a new point of the meeting. This was followed by a motion to the mandate and immunity committee.

In disciplinary proceedings, the committee can impose a fine up to the amount of a monthly parliamentary salary or an apology. If the committee delivers such a verdict, the deputy can appeal against it to the entire lower chamber.