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The Constitutional Court taught the nation a lesson in the pension dispute

We love those moments when the Czech nation sits down in front of the TV screens and watches a supremely unfunny show on them, as if it were the final of the world championship in chasing a puck with a piece of wood or a poaching competition combining hill running and shooting. That moment came on Wednesday after noon, and we must thank our political representation, positional and opposition, for allowing us the public announcement of the verdict of the Constitutional Court with its previous steps, and the court, especially the judge reporter Vojtěch Šimíčk, for using the opportunity and giving the nation an excellent unplanned lesson from civic education.

The decision of the court itself and the three dissenting opinions of judges Svatoně, Šámal and Fiala will still be subjected to deep considerations, the basic message will suffice for us. And it reads that the Constitutional Court, as the highest authority, did not find a violation of constitutional principles when approving the reduced valorization of pensions in 2023. With an underscore after the word “constitutional”.

We will point out two areas from the justification, which is still briefer. According to Vojtěch Šimíček, the court did not act in a vacuum in terms of the decision-making practice to date. In other words, he had something to follow up on, his decision was and is predictable. And this means, and this is already our comment on the matter, that the petitioners, a group of MPs from the YES movement, could, with good legal help, have anticipated the direction in which the court’s deliberations would go.

VIDEO: The opposition obstructed, the Constitutional Court said and rejected ANO’s accusations

Valorization of pensions: The opposition obstructed, the Constitutional Court said. And he rejected the accusations YES • ČTK/Blesk Zprávy

Which brings us to the urgent question of whether the filing itself was just a continuation of the political fight in parliament, which in itself is nothing wrong or offensive. The effort to involve the Constitutional Court in the political battle was inappropriate; he refused it, because he is not blind and stupid, and he did well. A symptom of this impropriety would naturally also be subsequent reactions referring to the occupation of a part of the Constitutional Court by President Petr Pavlo or replies like “that was to be expected” and the like. As expected, we saw these reactions almost immediately and it is only a matter of time before they erupt in full.

An important moment also occurred in the question of the alleged unconstitutionality of the parliamentary procedure, which led to the adoption of a reduced valuation. The court practically said that the controlling role of the opposition was not affected, that its MPs had enough space to express themselves, some spoke on the topic for hours and it could even have obstructionist features. Even if the Act on the Rules of Procedure of the Chamber of Deputies was violated, it would have to be a violation at the level of constitutional intensity. Which is again an important message: the parliamentary debate is working in the Czech Republic, the Constitutional Court will not play the role of a referee in an ordinary political match.

We mentioned civic education at the beginning. It is the eternal merit of Czech Television that it offers such educational programs to its viewers, with the small remark that it could fulfill its public right in this way on a daily basis. Each court hearing is a greater fulfillment of her role than Mr. Eben’s four rows of smiles in a show where some people dance and others applaud.

However, civic education in direct transmission has other main students: They are politicians who show how much they are unable to come to an agreement, how little they are able to accept political defeat, how they are looking for where else to transfer their unaccepted grievance. Or who they are willing to drag into the theater for their voters. Which unfortunately applies to politicians on all sides, it doesn’t matter who is currently rotating in which zodiac.

The Constitutional Court rejected this game.

The author is an editorial associate.

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