On Wednesday, deputies are scheduled to vote again on four new members of the Czech Television Council. Previous attempts had failed to meet the obstacles of part of the opposition, which fears that critics of the current Czech television administration will increase in the council and that the media will find themselves under greater pressure.
Of the council’s total of 15 members, only eleven seats have been filled since May. This reduced the possibility of the early dismissal of the current president of Czech television, Petr Dvošak, for whom at least ten members had to vote.
The main strategist to obstruct the election of members of the Television Council is the Chairman of the People’s Congress, Jan Bartoszek. In an interview with Seznam Zprávy, he said that the opposition wants to agree with government parties and push their candidates to the assembly. However, negotiations have not moved anywhere yet. According to Bartoszek, the governmental movement ANO must again rely on obstacles.
Are there negotiations between the opposition and the coalition over the election of four members of the Czech Television Council?
The meeting, when, as the opposition parties, we met with the YES movement and the Social Democrats, it took place only once, unfortunately. There we had an idea of what it might look like, but we haven’t moved on since.
Because the powerful YES group, the Social Democrats and the Communists feel that the House staff election should win by 10:0. Of course, they have a majority, we should respect that. On the other hand, we can’t be completely wiped out in the personnel election. We refuse to accept this, because at that moment it will have only one power group in individual institutions – it is not only related to the Czech Television Council, which is wrong. Even in societal politics, we are honored to have opposition parties have representatives to get information and be there.
Can you determine how many four CT board vacancies you need for the opposition?
We want the alliance together to have one name and the Pirates and STAN alliance to have a special name and two of the names that will eventually catch up with the alliance parties. We don’t care how the other coalition shares the two seats. However, the Social Democrats made it clear that they wanted one name to represent them. The Social Democratic Party and the Social Democratic Communists have in fact pushed out any agreements.
Isn’t it wrong not to deal with SPD and KS andM?
All previous staff elections were enforced by the power group ANO, SPD and KS السلطةM. This was also shown in the recent elections to the Grand Council (Board of Radio and Television Broadcasting – Editor’s note). I am convinced that these parties have enough people there. It is important now that our parties nominate there.
Do you have any indications that the “Yes” movement will respond to your demands?
We are currently waiting for what the coalition parties will reach.
And what if it doesn’t move anywhere?
It is relatively simple – if no agreement is reached, I am convinced that we must slow down the choice. It is not possible to completely wean off the possibility of delegating our people, which we believe will ensure the independence of public service television.
Does this mean that there will be a series of hurdles in the form of ad breaks and the like, which is the procedure you used in your earlier attempts to get elected?
I support a convention that would be good. But on the other hand, if we consider the various organizations nominated by people there, they question whether their appointment of persons is in accordance with the law. In the sense that these organizations do not meet the conditions for being able to run. In my opinion, the best option is for the whole second round to fall and the new names to be nominated in accordance with the law.
However, the House Elections Committee has already discussed the possibility of re-selecting the candidates and the motion has not passed…
For me personally, this was one potential variant of the conventions.
Given the political reality, wouldn’t it be better if candidates for media councils were nominated directly by political parties?
This is certainly a topic for discussion and will be one of the topics of the upcoming parliamentary session. I can’t foresee, but all the steps we have to take in the future should really lead to ensuring the independence of the public media. We see Hungary, and partly Poland, where the ruling political parties need to control the institutions. The first to be enslaved are the public media. Democratic parties must guarantee their independence. The temptation is here, it will always be. For a society to be free, it needs a free public information, whether we like politicians, what they ask us to do or not. This is their role. Our role is to carry out our mandates to the best of our ability and to be able to answer those questions.
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