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Czech Republic: Presidential Veto of Amendment to Conflict-of-Interest Provision

(May 2, 2008) Calling the proposed amendment to the law on conflict of interest unsystematic, ill-conceived, chaotic, and incomprehensible, Czech President Vaclav Klaus has vetoed it. Klaus was concerned that the amendment would pose a threat to privacy, according to Petr Hajek, a presidential office spokesman. (Czech President Vetoes Amendment to Law on Conflict of Interests, CZECH HAPPENINGS, May 9, 2008, Open Source Center No. EUP20080512035004.)

The amendment would have facilitated public access to statements on the property holdings of politicians and changed the punishment given to officials who violate conflict-of-interest provisions. Under the proposed revisions, judges and state attorneys would be exempted from the duty to submit property statements, but that duty would be extended to managers in state and municipal institutions, primary and secondary school directors, and certain other persons who are not traditionally considered to be civil servants. Senior officials at the university level would not have been required to submit statements. It would take at least 101 of the 200 votes in the lower house of the legislature to overturn the veto. (Id.)