The Czech political system differs from that to which we are accustomed in France, Belgium or Switzerland. Generally speaking, the President has only a symbolic role. Power lies with the Prime Minister, who is appointed by the President of the Republic.
The rest of this article looks in detail at the role of each of the country’s political representatives, the National Assembly and the Senate. A country whose democracy has been judged healthy by a recent study unveiled by The Economist Intelligence Unit.
How is the Czech President elected?
The Czech Republic’s political system differs somewhat from the one in France, in the US or in th UK. The President of the Republic, elected for a five-year term, is above all a moral authority, with very few powers.
An important figure since he represents the nation, his voice is respected by both politicians and citizens who, since 2012, have elected by direct universal suffrage.
Before this small revolution, the Czech President was elected unanimously by the members of the National Assembly and Senate.
Who is the Czech President?
In practice, the Czech President appoints a Prime Minister, who then proposes a government to the President to carry out the desired policy.
It is up to the latter to accept or reject the proposed government before submitting it to the Chamber of Deputies for approval. Today, the elected Czech President is Petr Pavel, a former NATO general.
Who is the Czech Prime Minister?
The Czech Prime Minister is none other than the leader of the Civic Democratic Party (Občanská demokratická strana – ODS), Petr Fiala. He too has been heavily criticized, notably for possible misappropriation of European Union funds, and has legislative powers. While the Czech President remains at the helm, the Prime Minister acts as the first piston, proposing legislation.
How are laws passed in the Czech Republic?
In the Czech Republic, laws are passed by the Chamber of Deputies. In this hemicycle, 200 members elected for four years by direct universal suffrage and proportional representation sit and debate social issues on a daily basis.
Headed by Markéta Pekarová Adamová since 2021, the lower house of the Czech parliament has been won over by the government party (34 elected members). However, it failed to win an absolute majority, and had to form a coalition with :
- STAN (33 elected)
- KDU-ČSL (23 elected)
- TOP 09 (14 elected)
- Pirate Party (4 elected)
The country’s far right has 20 seats. These figures are valid at the time of writing and are subject to change, depending on the electoral calendar.
How does the Czech Senate work?
The upper house of power in the Czech Republic is the Senate. Senators are elected for a period of six consecutive years, with one-third of the seats renewed every two years. Comprising 81 seats, the Czech Senate has a certain importance, as it has the right to halt the passage of legislation.
Senators also elect representatives to the Czech Supreme Court. On the other hand, the Czech Senate has no decision-making power when it comes to voting on the annual budget, which is the responsibility of the Chamber of Deputies. To date, the Senate is in the hands of an independent party advocating greater local responsibility.
The ruling ODS party has 36 seats. The far-right opposition has 8 seats.
Who is the mayor of Prague?
The mayor of the capital, Prague, is Bohuslav Svoboda. A gynecologist by profession and member of the ruling ODS party, he was elected in 2023. In the Czech Republic, mayors are elected for a four-year term. The next elections will therefore take place in 2027!
Who are the political figures in the Czech Republic?
Many elected representatives are the driving force behind the Czech Republic. Former Prime minister and czech elected president, Babiš and Zeman, were the most important. That’s not the case anymore. Others are trying to evolve. Dominik Feri was one of these before he was accused of sexual violence and rape by a dozen women.
On the hard right, Tomio Okamura is the face of the conservatives. The Greens are in a very strong minority. They are led by Michal Berg and Magdalena Davis.
What’s the country worth on the international stage?
In Europe, from a political point of view, the Czech Republic lags behind France and Germany. The country, small in size and economy, is not the most influential. Nevertheless, the Czech Republic is earning its spurs, both within the European Union and elsewhere.
It has been praised for its handling of the first wave of covid-19, while Prague has taken a stand against alleged Russian interference. A few years ago, a military base suffered an unfortunate incident blamed on Moscow. Last but not least, Prague’s mayor also lent his support to the island of Taiwan, in the face of China, with a visit to the island.