Válek: If MPs do not override the Senate veto, I will ask for a state of emergency for 14 days

Kateřina Šulová

Health Minister Vlastimil Válek (TOP 09) expects the Chamber of Deputies to override the Senate’s veto of the amendment to the pandemic law. If this does not happen, he intends to ask the government to declare a state of emergency for 14 days so that the necessary anti-pandemic measures can continue to apply.

On Friday, Válek also admitted that the government had underestimated the Senate’s approval of the amendment. The Senate rejected the widely criticized amendment to the pandemic law, which headed to the upper house of parliament after about 35 hours of debate by lawmakers. The parliament’s consideration of the bill was accompanied by obstruction from the opposition. 

Hear the critics? Impossible, says Válek

According to Válek, it is impossible to modify the law according to the senators’ objections or to extend the validity of its current wording beyond February 28. “The pandemic law has led to measures being issued in violation of the law,” the minister said.

The ruling parties have a majority of 108 votes in the lower house, so there is a good chance they will override the senators’ veto. Otherwise, Válek intends to ask for a state of emergency to be declared for 14 days so that measures that would otherwise not be able to take effect after the end of the current pandemic law (February 28) can be put into effect.

According to Válek, it is necessary to keep the measures concerning social and health facilities given the spread of the omicron variant in vulnerable senior population groups.