Senate passes law recognising Havel’s contribution to Czech society
The Senate has passed a law recognising the accomplishments of the recently deceased former Czech president Václav Havel. The law was proposed shortly after the former president’s death last December; the ultimate language of the legislation notes that the former president “worked for freedom and democracy” in the country. 52 of 59 senators present voted for the legislation with only the Communist Party opposed. However, the law, which must now be signed by Havel’s successor Václav Klaus, was not without controversy. Of 100 senators who could have voted on the measure, many chose to abstain. According to Christian Democrat Petr Pithart and Social Democrat Jiří Dientsbier, while Havel’s contribution is not in doubt, the idea that a law is an appropriate way to mark this is questionable.