▶ Arms licenses often replace centrally registered authorizations – ČT24 – Czech Television

Events: Last session of the House of Representatives this year (source: ČT24)

On Tuesday, MPs debated, for example, increasing fines for failing to register medicines in pharmacies, the appointment and dismissal of senior lawyers, toughening anti-money laundering rules and a new law on arms and ammunition. The drafts were in second reading, where lawmakers could apply amendments. It took almost two and a half hours to approve the agenda of the meeting. Most of the time was filled with a speech by the leader of the ANO movement, Andrej Babiš.

Babish spoke for about an hour and a half. He used the justification of his proposals mainly to criticize the cabinet before the considerably thinned parliamentary benches. He proposed ten points for discussion. According to Babis, Prime Minister Petr Fiala (ODS) and the government lied or related issues based on their propaganda. For example, the assessment of the Czech Republic, Russian gas imports and the strength of the Covid wave faced by the current cabinet. “This government is really lying. They don’t have any covid,” declared Babis, who called himself an “unimportant MP” during his speech. He leaned back on Fiala, who, according to him, was unfit for the job, weak and not managing the cabinet.

The ANO leader also demanded a parliamentary debate on arms exports to Ukraine, the EU budget and alleged government pressure on independent agencies such as the Antimonopoly Office, Statistical Office and Energy Regulatory Office. “If we allow it under our government, I can already see demonstrations, roars,” Babiš said.

The club’s vice-president Radek Rosvorel spoke for the SPD. In his opinion, he pushed for a debate on the Fial government’s refusal to address high energy prices, as well as the reported increase in food prices, the alleged worsening of housing availability and illegal migration to Europe.

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ANO branch leader Alena Schillerová demanded a parliamentary debate on the government’s priorities “in light of the failure of its economic policy and weak electoral prospects”. In his reasoning, he criticized the possibility of postal voting in some elections overseas, which the coalition wants to implement next year. According to Schiller, postal elections could break their secrecy and threaten people’s faith in democracy. Aleš Juchelka also spoke for ANO, who failed the priority debate for the movement’s proposal to increase care payments. Rozvoral demanded the same, but for an amendment by SPD MPs.

Some MPs, including SPD leader Tomio Okamura, did not use their applications to debate program changes. The lower house rejected all attempts to include other topics in the parliamentary session by the coalition majority.

Proposals under discussion

The drug amendment is essentially supposed to equalize the penalties between failure to register drugs in pharmacies and their prohibited export abroad. According to the draft, pharmacies will be fined up to twenty million euros instead of two million euros for failing to register a drug. In addition, the legalization of the possibility of selling drugs through vending machines is again in place, in the second reading it was proposed for amendment by MP STAN Jan Kuchař. Lower House members will vote on the draft form at the January meeting.

The Anti-Money Laundering Bill will expand the range of companies required to screen their customers for potential money laundering. At the same time, the upper limit of one of the fines for violating the anti-money laundering rules should be increased to one million crowns, i.e. tenfold. The delegates submitted two revised proposals and an amendment to the amendment in the second reading. The House of Representatives may vote on the draft at its January meeting.

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The handling of military ammunition represented by grenades, grenades, mines, aerial bombs or 20 millimeter caliber and larger artillery rounds will be regulated by the lower house in a separate law on the proposal of the government. The standard regarding pyrotechnic survey was moved for final approval by the delegates. So far, regulation of this area has been dealt with in the Arms Act, which should continue to regulate the handling of ammunition.

In the future, gun licenses or licenses may replace electronic authorizations for the use of weapons in the Central Arms Registry. A new law on arms and ammunition, moved to the final round of approval by the House, counts this. The standard, like the Related Ammunition Act, is slated to come into force in early 2026.

The Supreme Court can only be removed by the government. The House of Representatives, with the proposal of Justice Minister Pawel Plasek (ODS), could replace the government amendment, according to which the Supreme Prosecutor could lose his position even in disciplinary proceedings. According to the minister, the so-called dual-track system could cause problems. “There is no reason, constitutional or otherwise, to equate the tenure of the Attorney General with that of the Supreme Court and the Supreme Administrative Court,” he said. A similar amendment was submitted in the second reading of the draft by its rapporteur, Helena Valkova, from the opposition movement ANO, according to which the competition authority of the disciplinary board would not be desirable. Delegates will likely vote on the amendment’s form at the January meeting.

The House of Representatives supported the first round of consideration of the amendment, which was aimed at clarifying the definition of classified information or reducing the administrative burden related to security clearance certificates and documents. And before approval, the standard will be reviewed by the House Committee on Defense.

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The current meeting ends on Wednesday. The representatives should also discuss some drafts in the first reading or the draft budget of the state cinematography fund for the next year.

According to the government and the opposition, last year was heated in the Lower House

The intensity with which the government coalition and the opposition debated the laws in the lower house this year was accompanied by an assessment of the representatives of the parliamentary parties last year. Members of the coalition SPOLU (ODS, TOP 09, KDU-ČSL), STAN and Piráty spoke at press conferences on Tuesday about the fact that most of the government’s proposals were passed despite the opposition’s bans. “We all remember very heated situations, including arguments at the (negotiating) table, and at the same time I can say for the government coalition that we have accepted and fulfilled everything,” said Marek Benda, president of the ODS club, for example. .

Politicians from the SPD and ANO opposition movements, on the other hand, warned against adopting laws “by force”. “Fialo’s government is not proposing a positive law for the citizens of the Czech Republic,” announced SPD leader Tomio Okamura. According to him, the coalition has only raised taxes, robbed pensioners of the value of their pensions, worsened healthcare, made food more expensive and increased the number of people living at or below the poverty line.

The two movements expect a similar clash, for example, when adopting changes to taxes and pensions, when a postal election is implemented next year. Before the holiday, MPs will break on Wednesday and reconvene on January 15.

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