Political system

 Czechia is a parliamentary republic. The bicameral Parliament, made up of the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate, constitutes the legislative branch of government. Executive power is shared by the prime minister’s cabinet and the president, whose powers are significantly limited by the Constitution.

Miloš Zeman | Photo: CNN Prima News

The current PM is Andrej Babiš, a former finance minister and founder of the ANO Movement. Miloš Zeman became president in 2013 and is currently serving his second 5-year term of office.

Elections to the Chamber of Deputies take place every four years unless an early election is called. The next presidential election is due to take place in January 2023, and Czechs will vote for a new Chamber of Deputies, which has 200 seats, in October 2021. Elections to the Senate take place every two years, with one-third of the upper chamber’s 81 seats contested at each one.

Andrej Babiš | Photo: Office of Czech Government

Every Czech citizen aged eighteen and older has the right to vote. Besides electing their Parliament and President, Czechs vote for representatives in regional assemblies, communal councils, and the European Parliament. Since 2013, the president has been elected by popular vote, and presidential elections have also seen a high voter turnout. Voter turnout in parliamentary elections on the other hand has seen a declining trend since 1990. Elections to the European Parliament draw the lowest share of Czech voters. In the 2014 European elections, for instance, turnout was just 18 %.

The Czech Republic is also a member of many international organizations. It joined NATO in 1999 and the European Union in 2004 and is also a member of the United Nations and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. It is one of the four members of the Visegrad Group, along with Poland, Hungary, and Slovakia. Within the EU, it is part of the Schengen area.

Czech Parliament | Photo: Michaela Danelová,  Czech Radio
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