IN SHORT

Don't call me that!

THE COUNTRY'S ombudsman, Pavel Kandráč, has appealed to journalists to stop calling him ombudsman.

Although the word is widely used, Kandráč has argued that when journalists refer to him as 'ombudsman', ordinary people do not understand what is meant.

Another reason Kandráč objects to the epithet is that according to the Slovak constitution, his official title is 'public protector of rights'.

"Don't use the term 'ombudsman'. The constitution only recognises the term 'public protector of rights'. People shouldn't think that I am an ombudsman," Kandráč said at his first press conference since he took office four months ago.

Since taking up his position, Kandráč has received a total of 1,200 public complaints and settled 173. He is currently working on 212. At the October 25 press conference Kandráč refused to specify what the complaints were about, noting that in his opinion his office did "quite a lot of work".

Kandráč did reveal, however, that men filed the majority of complaints because "women are used to [suffering in silence]", while most complaints came from retired people.

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