Havel sceptical direct presidential election will come about

Former Czech president Václav Havel has told a Czech newspaper he does not believe Parliament will approve a law opening the way for direct presidential elections, despite a pledge by the current ruling coalition to push for changing the system. Mr Havel told Hospodářské noviny, in an interview conducted prior to his current hospitalisation, that he strongly favoured the head-of-state being elected by the people because it would give the president a different kind of legitimacy. However Mr Havel stressed he was sceptical about the possibility that a direct election would be introduced. In his view that would mean that Parliament would lose a significant privilege. Under the current system the Czech president is elected to a five-year term in a joint session by legislators from the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies.

Author: Jan Velinger