- Hans Weber
- December 1, 2023
Fiala: Outgoing President Zeman Will Not Name New Head of Constitutional Court
Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala has announced that outgoing President Milos Zeman will not appoint a new head of the Constitutional Court in the final month of his presidency. The President had previously considered naming a successor to the current chair of the court, Pavel Rychetsky, who will step down in August. Fiala asked Zeman not to make the appointment and the President agreed, though he still believed it was possible from a legal standpoint.
Fiala noted that the outgoing President had argued that he had already appointed a university rector who would start their post in mid-March, after Zeman’s mandate had ended. Zeman had previously stated that there appeared to be no legal barriers to his appointment of a new head of the Constitutional Court. However, several constitutional lawyers and the newly elected President Petr Pavel disagreed with this assessment. Pavel stated that if Zeman appointed a new head of the court, he would seek clarification from the court.
At a press conference, Fiala emphasized that appointing a new head of the court now would cause instability in the entire court system and would not be accepted or clearly interpreted. Most constitutional lawyers also expressed the view that an outgoing President should not take such a step. Current Chairman Rychetsky stated that a new President would have to ignore the will of their predecessor if the predecessor appointed a new head of the Constitutional Court while the post was still occupied.
Fiala and Zeman discussed the situation after the election of the new President and both expressed a desire for a smooth and problem-free transfer of power. Fiala believes that this will eventually occur.
Article by Prague Forum