President welcomes Válková’s decision to refuse nomination for ombudswoman

President Miloš Zeman, who nominated the government‘s commissioner for human rights, Helena Válková, to the post of ombudswoman, has welcomed her decision to refuse the nomination in the wake of allegations that she had defended laws against dissidents during the Communist regime.He indicated he might nominate Social Democrat MP Kateřina Valachová in her place.

According to the news site Válková also collaborated in her professional work with the former state prosecutor Josef Urválek, who was responsible for securing the death sentences of Milada Horáková, Rudolf Slánský and others in 1950s Communist show trials.

The news has put Válková under pressure to refuse the nomination for the post of ombudswoman and resign as the government‘s commissioner for human rights. Deputy Prime Minister Jan Hamáček said on Sunday he would welcome her resignation.Válková has made no indication she is considering such a move.

She told journalists that the claims made by the news site were untruthful and insulting and that she planned to sue the site for slander. She said she could only be criticized for having joined the communist party.