11.06.2014 / 14:45
The Czech Republic is a parliamentary democracy. Its supreme law is the Constitution of the Czech Republic together with the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms. In its current form the Constitution has been valid since 1 January 1993, i.e. since the date the independent Czech state was established, as a result of the separation of Czechoslovakia.
Power is divided into legislative (Czech Parliament), executive (Czech Government and the President of the Republic) and judicial.
The Parliament of the Czech Republic is made up of two chambers – the House of Parliament and the Senate. Every citizen who is at least 18 years old is entitled to vote for candidates to the House of Parliament and the Senate.
The House of Parliament is made up of 200 members, who are elected once every four years. The election system is based on the principles of proportionate representation. A new Czech Government is established on the basis of the results of these elections.Every citizen of the Czech Republic, who is entitled to vote and is at least 21 years of age, can be elected to the House of Parliament. Members are elected as representatives of individual political parties, after their election the parties create parliamentary clubs in the House of Parliament.
Members are divided into 18 Committees of the House of Parliament. The committees should perform the function of expert guarantor for a specific field of social and political life within the country. Thus, for instance, the budget committee is concerned with state budget matters; the agricultural committee comments on legislation concerning the country’s agrarian policy. The foreign committee of the House of Parliament is concerned with the foreign policy and the policy on foreigners in the Czech Republic.
The Senate was established in 1996. 81 senators are elected with a six-year term of office according to the principles of the majority election system. The elections take place every two years, when one third of the Senators are newly elected (during the first elections one third of the senators were only elected for a two-year term of office, a third for a four-year term of office and a third for a six-year term of office. At the next elections after two years one third of the senators, with a “two-year term of office“ were replaced with new senators who were elected for a six-year term of office). Every citizen of the Czech Republic, who is entitled to vote and is at least 40 years old, can be elected to the Senate.
The Senate is conceived as a counterweight to the House of Parliament, as an element establishing conditions for a better quality legislative process and as an element of Parliamentary continuity in the event that the House of Parliament is dissolved.
The President of the Republic and the Czech Government are representatives of executive power within the country.
The Government is the supreme body of executive power. It answers to the House of Parliament for its actions. As well as the Government, ministries and other administrative bodies are also part of the executive power. These can only be established and their jurisdiction defined by the law.The actions of the Government issue mainly from the policy statement by the Government, with which the head of the Government appears before the House of Parliament. If this policy is approved and its members express their confidence in the Government during a vote, the Government may start to function and execute matters within its jurisdiction.
The President of the Republic is the head of state and the supreme commander of the armed forces. The President is elected by the members of Parliament and the senators during a joint meeting. A President is elected once every five years. The President’s term of office begins when he takes his vow.
Judicial power is executed in the name of the republic by independent courts of law. During the execution of their function the judges should be independent and no one may threaten their objectivity. The court system is made up of the Supreme Court, Supreme Administrative Court, Supreme, Regional and District Courts. The Constitutional Court, which is made up of 15 judges, who are appointed for a term of ten years, oversees adherence to the constitution.