Prague – People and organizations can once again propose candidates for state honors to the Senate until the end of April. Press secretary of the upper chamber Lada Faldynová announced this to ČTK today after the meeting of the Senate organizing committee. The only news is that the highest state awards will no longer be decided by Miloš Zeman, but by his successor, who will be elected by the people at the end of the week. That is, either the former high representative of the army, Petr Pavel, or the ex-prime minister, Andrej Babiš (ANO).
In recent years, the Senate has reduced the number of applicants for the award. Last year, he recommended only eight, including members of the anti-Nazi resistance group Three Kings, which was the fewest in history. The reason was the strained relations between the Castle and the upper parliamentary chamber and the fact that Zeman accepted senatorial nominations only in a few cases. Last year, the Senate proposed 15 candidates to Zeman, the president agreed to the upper chamber in two cases.
Relations between the Castle and the Senate cooled significantly due to the trip of senators to Taiwan in 2020, which was pushed by the Speaker of the Upper Chamber Miloš Vystrčil (ODS) despite threats from mainland China. Even Zeman did not agree with the trip. Three years ago, the Senate nominated 32 personalities for the award, including the President of the Constitutional Court, Pavel Rychetský. The castle initially announced that Zeman had decided to accept this nomination. The year before last February, the president announced that he would not award Rychetský the order due to the fact that the Constitutional Court annulled part of the law on elections to the House of Representatives. The president also did not accept the other senate nominations.
Last year, Zeman called the actions of the representatives of the Senate, who, in cooperation with the deputies, considered the temporary transfer of part of the powers of the President to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Prime Minister after the parliamentary elections last fall. The reason was the fact that Zeman was transferred to the Central Military Hospital and, according to the report of its doctors, which was requested by the Senate, he was unable to perform his work duties. Zeman’s suspicion that the legislators thereby committed sabotage, but the High State Prosecutor’s Office in Prague called it unfounded last June.
With this year’s proposals, citizens can contact senators or senators’ clubs until April 30. The nominations will then be reviewed by the Senate Subcommittee on State Honors and finally by the upper house as a whole at a meeting in June or July. The list of adepts is then forwarded to the head of state, who usually awards or bestows the award on October 28 or January 1.
senate committees awards