Embassy of the Czech Republic in The Hague

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Political System

For more information on the Czech political system please consult the attached article.

The Czech Republic has a democratic system of government based on parliamentary democracy and free competition among political parties. Every citizen, upon reaching the age of 18, has the right to vote. The President of the Czech Republic is the formal head of state; he is also Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces. The President is elected by Parliament for a term of five years at a joint meeting of the lower and upper houses. The current President of the Czech Republic is Miloš Zeman.

The Czech Republic's supreme legislative body is Parliament, which consists of the House of Deputies, the lower house of the legislature, and the Senate, the upper house. The House of Deputies is made up of 200 Deputies elected on party tickets by secret ballot based on proportional representation for four-year terms. The Senate is comprised of 81 senators elected in individual electoral districts for six-year terms using a majority-wins system. To be elected to the House of Deputies, a candidate must be at least 21 years of age; for the Senate, the minimum required age is 40.

The supreme executive body is the Government. It is led by the Prime Minister and appointed by the President of the Republic. The President also appoints other Government members - deputy ministers and ministers based on the Prime Minister's recommendations. Before it is instated, the Government must win a vote of confidence in the House of Deputies.

The independent Constitutional Court is the highest judiciary body in the Czech Republic. The President appoints, for life, its head and its judges, as well as judges of other courts. The Czech National Bank, entrusted with the stability of the currency, is independent and self-governing. The President, however, appoints its chairman and governors.

The Czech Republic is a free country devoted to equal rights for all its citizens. Human and civil rights are guaranteed by the Constitution through the Bill of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms. Many organizations have been formed to promote and encourage human rights within the Czech Republic, including the Czech Helsinki Committee and Amnesty International.

The local government in the Czech Republic has two layers: 14 regions (NUTS 3) and 6 234 municipalities. These are self-administred units; people elect their representatives for regional and municipal government. Until December 31, 2002 there were also 76 district offices serving as local branches of the government.

Major Political Parties

In 1989, after overthrowing the "one-party" government, Czechoslovak citizens found again freedom, the right to freely form political parties and movements according to one's political convictions. Shortly after the fall of the totalitarian regime, a colorful variety of political parties was established and provided the foundation for a more stable democratic political environment. ?XML:NAMESPACE PREFIX = O NS = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /?>

The main parties in today's Czech political scene are:

Czech Social Democratic Party (Česká strana sociálně demokratická- ČSSD)
Chairman: Bohuslav Sobotka

- ČSSD is the successor to a party established in 1878 and disbanded by the Communists in 1948. Its policies accent the social agenda.

Civic Democratic Party (Občanská demokratická strana - ODS)
Chairman:

- The party was founded as a conservative party after the split of the Civic Forum on February 26, 1991.

Christian Democratic Union-Czechoslovak People's Party (Křesťansko-demokratická unie - Československá strana lidová- KDU-ČSL)
Chairman: Pavel Bělobrádek

- This party is the successor to the Catholic-oriented People's Party, which was active between the World Wars. In the Communist era, it existed as a powerless decoration of the totalitarian regime. After 1989, the party underwent a complicated internal transformation, and it currently declares itself to be a conservative party with a Christian social orientation.

Greens (Strana zelených)
Chairman: Ondřej Liška

- The Greens were were active in the Czech politics since the 1990´s, its representatives became members of the House of Deputies after the elections in June 2006.

Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia (Komunistická strana Čech a Moravy- KSČM)
Chairman: Vojtěch Filip