The Czech Republic has a democratic system of government, based on parliamentary democracy and free competition of political parties. Every citizen upon reaching the age of 18 has the right to vote.
The Presiden of the Czech Republic is the formal head of state; he is also the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces. He is elected by the Parliament at a joint meeting of both the Chambers for a term of five years. The current President of the Czech Republic is Václav Klaus.
The Czech Republic's supreme legislative body is the Parliament, which consists of the House of Deputies, the lower house of the legislature, (200 deputies elected on party tickets by secret ballot, proportional representation, for a four-year term), and the Senate, the upper house, (81 senators elected in individual electoral districts, majority-wins system, for a six-year term). To be elected to the House of Deputies, the lower house of the legislature, a citizen is required only to be 21 years old. For the Senate, the minimum age required is 40.
The supreme executive body is the Government. It is led by the Prime Minister who is appointed by the President of the Republic. The President also appoints other Government members on the Prime Minister's recommendation. The Government must win a vote of confidence in the House of Deputies to be instated. The current Prime Minister of the Czech Republic is Jan Fischer.
The independent Constitutional Court is the highest judiciary body in the Czech Republic. The head and judges of the Court, as well as judges of other courts, are appointed for life by the President.
The Czech National Bank, entrusted with the stability of the currency, is independent and self-governing. Its chairman and governors, however, are appointed by the President.
Presently, the Czech Republic is divided into administrative districts. These districts are further divided into 6000 municipalities. However, by 2002 the Czech Republic will be divided into 13 self-governing regions, which will constitue the basic governing bodies. The state will intervene in the work of the self-governing regions only when necessary for defending the law and only as is specifically specified by law. The members of the local governments are in office for four years.