Governing coalition once again violates parliamentary rules

2011-11-08 During discussion of proposed reform bills, members of the coalition parties have once again resorted to undemocratic practices, violating the Rules of Procedure of the Chamber of Deputies and the Constitution of the Czech Republic.

During discussion of proposed reform bills, members of the coalition parties have once again resorted to undemocratic practices, violating the Rules of Procedure of the Chamber of Deputies and the Constitution of the Czech Republic.  These government proposals, which were rejected by the Senate or returned with amendments, were added to the agenda of the current plenary meeting without any vote taking place for changing the agenda.  This is in clear violation of parliamentary rules, and opposition parties were not even allowed to object to such procedure.

Far from being satisfied with ignoring the opposition, coalition deputies then limited the length and number of remarks of each deputy to two addresses of ten minutes each.  In addition, they claimed that all fourteen bills were to be considered in a single debate, so that, according to their interpretation, each deputy would have a grand total of almost a minute and a half of debate for each proposed bill.

It is clear that the government coalition has learned nothing from its recent double debacle at the Constitutional Court.  Once again, its actions subvert the basic principles of the democratic legislative process, especially the right of an opposition minority to voice its opinion in open debate and to express legitimate resistance to the intentions of the majority.

If the government coalition continues to refuse to allow free and open parliamentary debate on the basic measures it has undertaken which impact all of our citizens, ČSSD deputies will have no recourse other than to challenge the constitutionality of the manner in which all of these bills are passed before the Constitutional Court.

Bohuslav Sobotka, ČSSD  Chairman

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Mgr. Bohuslav Sobotka
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