Chamber of Deputies Elect Committee Chairs

Prague, Nov 29 (CTK) – The Czech Chamber of Deputies’ committees met for the first time in the new set-up, electing their chairpersons today, and the election of Radek Koten (Freedom and Direct Democracy, SPD) the head of the security committee raised probably the biggest controversy.


Before he was elected, Koten faced questions on the content of his Facebook profile, which according to information from the media contained links to disinformation websites and revealed his membership in pro-Russian groups and in groups opposing NATO.


However, he beat Jan Bartosek, deputy chairman of the Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL), in the vote.


Teh chairman of the Pirates, Ivan Bartos, will head the public administration committee, while Marek Benda will head the constitutional and legal committee and Jana Cernochova (both Civic Democrats, ODS) will head the defence committee.


ANO deputy chairman Jaroslav Faltynek was elected the head of the agricultural committee.


Other ANO deputies will be heading the control committee (Roman Kubicek), the social policy committee (Radka Maxova), the health committee (Vera Adamkova), the petition committee (Helena Valkova) and the election committee (Stanislav Berkovec).


Koten said in response to the enquiries that he had not been maintaining his Facebook profile himself, but that more people had been involved, and that he was not visiting these groups that he joined on his Facebook account almost at all.


Koten also said it was important that he was aware of security threats and people’s opinions.


He said he did not see why he was to be a security threat in the post if he could access the same information as other deputies.


Ondrej Benesik (KDU-CSL) became the chairman of the European affairs committee.


The foreign affairs committee has not elected its head yet, because it interrupted the discussion of this point. Outgoing Foreign Affairs Minister Lubomir Zaoralek (Social Democrats, CSSD) is the nominee for the post.


SPD deputy group’s head Radim Fiala was elected the chairman of the economic committee.


Vaclav Klaus Jr. (Civic Democrats, ODS) will head the education committee and Dana Balcarova (Pirates) will head the environment committee.


The Chamber currently has 18 committees, two of which elected their chairperson earlier. Stanislav Grospic heads the mandate and immunity committee and Miloslava Vostra the budgetary committee (both Communists, KSCM).


The organisational committee is led by Radek Vondracek (ANO) based on his post of the chairman of the lower house.


The committees’ chairpersons have a primarily organisational role, but they receive a salary approximately 30,000 crowns higher than ordinary deputies, thus receiving a monthly pay of 100,000 crowns in 2017.


Chairpersons of Chamber of Deputies’ committees:

Committee Chairperson Deputy Group
Economic committee Radim Fiala SPD
Control committee Roman Kubicek ANO
Mandate and immunity committee Stanislav Grospic KSCM
Organisational committee Radek Vondracek ANO
Petition committee Helena Valkova ANO
Budgetary committee Miloslava Vostra KSCM
Constitutional and legal committee Marek Benda ODS
Election committee Stanislav Berkovec ANO
Security committee Radek Koten SPD
European affairs committee Ondrej Benesik KDU-CSL
Defence committee Jana Cernochova ODS
Social Policy committee Radka Maxova ANO
Education committee Vaclav Klaus ml. ODS
Public administration committee Ivan Bartos Pirates
Health committee Vera Adamkova ANO
Environment committee Dana Balcarova Pirates
Foreign affairs committee
Agriculture committee Jaroslav Faltynek ANO