2013 Czech legislative election

Last updated

2013 Czech legislative election
Flag of the Czech Republic.svg
  2010 25–26 October 2013 2017  

All 200 seats in the Chamber of Deputies
101 seats needed for a majority
 First partySecond partyThird party
  Bohuslav Sobotka Senate of Poland 01.JPG Andrej Babis 2014.JPG Vojtech Filip 2013 (cropped).JPG
Leader Bohuslav Sobotka Andrej Babiš Vojtěch Filip
Party ČSSD ANO KSČM
Leader since29 May 20101 August 20121 October 2005
Leader's seatSouth MoraviaPragueSouth Bohemia
Last election22.09%, 56 seats11.27%, 26 seats
Seats won504733
Seat changeDecrease2.svg6NewIncrease2.svg7
Popular vote1,016,829927,240741,044
Percentage20.46%18.66%14.91%
SwingDecrease2.svg1.63ppNewIncrease2.svg3.64pp

 Fourth partyFifth partySixth party
  Karel Schwarzenberg on June 2, 2011.jpg Nemcova (cropped).jpg Tomio Okamura 2012 crop.JPG
Leader Karel Schwarzenberg Miroslava Němcová Tomio Okamura
Party TOP 09 ODS Dawn
Leader since11 June 20099 August 2013May 2013
Leader's seatPraguePragueCentral Bohemia
Last election16.71%, 41 seats20.22%, 53 seats
Seats won261614
Seat changeDecrease2.svg15Decrease2.svg37New
Popular vote596,357384,174342,339
Percentage12.00%7.73%6.89%
SwingDecrease2.svg4.71ppDecrease2.svg12.49ppNew

 Seventh party
  Belobradek (cropped).jpg
Leader Pavel Bělobrádek
Party KDU-ČSL
Leader sinceNovember 2010
Leader's seatHradec Králové
Last election4.39%, 0 seats
Seats won14
Seat changeIncrease2.svg14
Popular vote336,970
Percentage6.78%
SwingIncrease2.svg2.39pp

Poslanecka snemovna 2013.png
Winning party by district (Red: Communist, Orange: ČSSD, Blue: ANO 2011, Purple: TOP 09)

Prime Minister before election

Jiří Rusnok
Independent

Prime Minister after election

Bohuslav Sobotka
ČSSD

Early legislative elections were held in the Czech Republic on 25 and 26 October 2013, seven months before the constitutional expiry of the elected parliament's four-year legislative term.

Contents

The government elected in May 2010 led by Prime Minister Petr Nečas was forced to resign on 17 June 2013, after a corruption and bribery scandal. A caretaker government led by Prime Minister Jiří Rusnok was then appointed by the President, but narrowly lost a vote of confidence on 7 August, leading to its resignation six days later. [1] The Chamber of Deputies then passed a motion of dissolution on 20 August, requiring new elections to be called within 60 days of presidential assent. [2] [3] The President gave his assent on 28 August, scheduling the elections for 25 and 26 October 2013. [4]

The two parties gaining the most seats were the Czech Social Democratic Party (ČSSD) (50 seats) and the new party ANO 2011 (47 seats). The Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia came third, with an increase in vote share of 3.6%. The two parties from the previous coalition government who were contesting the election, TOP 09 and the Civic Democratic Party (ODS), lost substantial numbers of seats, to finish fourth and fifth, respectively. Two other parties (re)entered the parliament, the new party Dawn of Direct Democracy, and the Christian and Democratic Union – Czechoslovak People's Party.

Background

The previous election in May 2010 resulted in the formation of a three-party centre-right coalition government consisting of the Civic Democratic Party (ODS), TOP 09 and Public Affairs (VV), with 118 seats, led by Prime Minister Petr Nečas.

On 22 April 2012, after a split in VV related to corruption accusations against the party leadership (especially Vít Bárta), ODS and TOP 09 dissolved their coalition with VV, raising the possibility that early elections would be held in June 2012. [5] However, shortly afterwards a breakaway faction of VV, led by Karolína Peake, formed a new party, LIDEM, who replaced VV in the coalition with ODS and TOP 09. The revised coalition controlled 100 seats (ODS=51, TOP09=41, LIDEM=8), and won a subsequent vote of confidence on 27 April 2012 by 105 to 93 votes, with additional support from some independent MPs. [6] [7]

On 17 June 2013, Prime Minister Petr Nečas resigned after a spying and corruption scandal. The Czech Social Democratic Party (ČSSD), the largest opposition party, called for the dissolution of the Chamber of Deputies and a snap election, [8] while the ODSTOP09LIDEM coalition argued they could still command a majority under Miroslava Němcová (ODS) as the new prime minister, as they proposed to the Czech President. [9] From 25 June 2013, the previous government coalition only held 98 seats (ODS=50, TOP09=42, LIDEM=6), and was therefore dependent upon support from independent MPs. [10] [11] To demonstrate its majority, the ODS-led coalition submitted 101 MP signatures of support to the president, including two extra independents as part of the LIDEM parliamentary group and the independent Michal Doktor, a former ODS member. [12] In an unprecedented move, President Miloš Zeman decided not to accept the coalition's requests, but instead appointed a caretaker government with Jiří Rusnok as new prime minister. Zeman described the new government as a "government of experts", while his critics described it as a "government of Zeman's friends". [13] [14] [15] Former Prime Minister Jan Fischer was named as finance minister. [16] Zeman stated that if the caretaker government could not win majority support in the vote of confidence required by the constitution to take place after 30 days in office, then he would give the ODS-led coalition a second attempt to form a government, provided it could still submit at least 101 signatures of support from MPs. [17]

On 7 August 2013, Jiří Rusnok's caretaker government lost the confidence vote in parliament by 93 to 100 votes, with 7 abstentions. A simple majority was required to unseat the government, which was supported by all MPs from ODS, TOP09 and LIDEM (except two ODS MPs and Karolína Peake of LIDEM, who broke the party line by abstaining). [18] The two dissenting ODS MPs, who were both expelled from the party a few hours after the vote, explained their decision by stating that ODS needed a period of self-reflection in opposition in order to win the municipal elections in 2014. [19]

Karolína Peake resigned as leader of LIDEM after the vote, [20] [21] and TOP 09 stated that due to a lack of support for a reformed ODSTOP09LIDEM government, as indicated by the results of the confidence vote, [22] they would withdraw their support for this coalition, in favour of early elections. ČSSD and the Communist Party (KSČM) also supported early elections. [23] [24] [25]

Though the constitution of the Czech Republic allows the president two attempts to appoint someone to form a new government, there is no time limit. As such, in theory the caretaker government could be allowed by the president to continue in its interim capacity until new elections took place, despite having lost the confidence vote. The end of the legislative term was scheduled to be May 2014, unless the parliament was dissolved before that date. [25] Nevertheless, the caretaker government decided voluntarily to resign on 13 August 2013, with immediate effect, and the parliament convened on 20 August to decide whether to dissolve the parliament and call for new elections within 60 days, or to request that the president again appoint someone to form a new government. [1]

A vote on dissolution of the parliament was scheduled to take place at 14:00 on 20 August. The four parties who had stated their support for the motion (TOP 09, ČSSD, KSČM and VV [26] ) together held more than the 60% majority (120 seats) required to pass the motion of dissolution, according to article 35(2) of the constitution. [27] [28] On 20 August, the parliament approved the motion of dissolution by 140 to 7. [2] [3] The president gave his assent for the dissolution of the parliament on 28 August, and scheduled the elections for 2526 October 2013. [4]

Incumbent parliament

The distribution of seats in the Chamber of Deputies on 20 August 2013, immediately before the parliament was dissolved, was as follows:

Distribution of seats in Chamber of DeputiesOn 20 August 2013 [3]
ČSSD Czech Social Democratic Party 54
ODS Civic Democratic Party 48
TOP09 TOP 09 42
KSČM Communist Party 26
VV Public Affairs 11
LIDEM Liberal Democrats 8* [10]
LEV 21 – NS LEV 21 – National Socialists (Jiří Paroubek and Petr Benda) [29] 2 [10]
Úsvit Dawn of Direct Democracy [30] (Radim Fiala)1 [10]
PSZ Pro Sport and Health [31] (Josef Dobeš) [32] 1 [33]
JIH 12 Jihočeši 2012 [34] (South Bohemian Regional Party: Michal Doktor) [35] 1 [36]
Independents 6

* Three of these eight members (Martin Vacek, Radim Vysloužil, Jana Suchá) were not members of the LIDEM party itself, but independents who worked with the LIDEM parliamentary group. [37] [38]

Parties contesting the election

Campaign finances

PartyMoney Spent
ANO 100,000,000 [75]
ČSSD 90,000,000 Kč [76]
TOP 09 55,000,000 Kč [76]
ODS 38,000,000 Kč [76]
KDU-ČSL 30,000,000 Kč [76]
SPO 25,000,000 Kč [76]
ÚSVIT 15,000,000 Kč [77]
SZ 13,000,000 Kč [76]
KSČM 11,300,000 [76]
Svobodní 3,000,000 [76]
Piráti 300,000 Kč [76]

Opinion polls

PublishedCompany ČSSD ODS TOP 09
STAN
KSČM ÚSVIT
(VV)
KDU
ČSL
SPOZ HV SZ DSSS PIRÁTI ANO others turnout
29 May 2010 Previous election 22.0820.2216.7011.2710.884.394.333.672.441.140.802.8562.6
10 September 2013 [78] TNS Aisa28.09.513.015.55.54.55.5<25.02.07.04.5
11 September 2013 [79] Médea27.49.910.215.79.14.74.11.63.22.013.11.070.0
12 September 2013 [80] Sanep26.29.913.916.23.75.26.93.36.19.856.2
16 September 2013 [81] STEM30.011.012.015.02.35.57.41.02.71.37.73.359.0
19 September 2013 [82] ppm factum26.28.013.816.72.56.75.11.72.310.96.152.7
24 September 2013 [83] CVVM30.57.012.519.52.54.55.52.014.02.062.0
26 September 2013 [84] TNS Aisa29.09.010.514.55.05.54.03.011.08.0
27 September 2013 [85] STEM28.012.511.017.02.55.55.51.03.310.04.165.0
6 October 2013 [86] TNS Aisa29.08.59.511.04.56.55.03.513.09.5
13 October 2013 [87] TNS Aisa28.56.511.012.55.06.04.53.52.012.58.0
14 October 2013 [88] ppm factum22.87.213.217.13.75.94.7<23.7<2<212.19.662.6
16 October 2013 [89] Médea22.25.59.611.88.26.23.72.92.33.116.97.771.0
18 October 2013 [90] STEM25.98.611.513.35.94.52.61.02.60.73.116.14.267.0
19 October 2013 [91] Median25.58.013.016.04.06.05.03.02.013.02.060.0
20 October 2013 [92] TNS Aisa23.07.010.514.06.06.04.03.02.516.08.0
21 October 2013 [93] CVVM26.06.59.018.05.05.03.52.02.516.56.063.0
21 October 2013 [94] Sanep23.87.511.916.95.35.75.23.53.111.65.559.3

Overseas voters

Following a random draw carried out by the State Election Committee, Czechs voting abroad who did not have permanent residency in the country would be included as voters in the Central Bohemian Region. [95]

Results

Czech parliamentary election 2013.svg
PartyVotes%+/–Seats+/–
Czech Social Democratic Party 1,016,82920.46−1.6250−6
ANO 2011 927,24018.66New47New
Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia 741,04414.91+3.6433+7
TOP 09 596,35712.00−4.7026−15
Civic Democratic Party 384,1747.73−12.5016−37
Dawn of Direct Democracy 342,3396.89New14New
KDU-ČSL 336,9706.78+2.3914+14
Green Party 159,0253.20+0.7400
Czech Pirate Party 132,4172.66+1.8600
Party of Free Citizens 122,5642.47+1.7500
Party of Civic Rights – Zemanovci 75,1131.51−2.8200
Workers' Party of Social Justice 42,9060.86−0.2400
Political Change Movement 28,5920.58New0New
Head Up – Electoral Bloc 21,2410.43New0New
Sovereignty – Party of Common Sense 13,5380.27−3.4000
Freeholder Party of the Czech Republic 13,0410.26New0New
Koruna Česká 8,9320.18+0.1100
National Socialists – Left of the 21st century 3,8430.08New0New
Active Independent Citizens 1,2370.02New0New
Right Bloc 1,2250.02New00
Roma Democratic Party 6090.01New0New
Citizens 2011 4550.01New0New
Club of Committed Non-Party Members 2930.01+0.000New
Total4,969,984100.002000
Valid votes4,969,98499.26
Invalid/blank votes37,2280.74
Total votes5,007,212100.00
Registered voters/turnout8,424,22759.44

Aftermath

ČSSD internal conflict

Following the election, ČSSD said they were open to talks with all parties about the formation of a government. [96] ANO leader Babis said he could imagine supporting a ČSSD-led government, whether in a coalition or supporting a ČSSD minority government from opposition, but that it was not his preferred option, as he opposed ČSSD proposals for tax increases. He also indicated that he would seek to become Minister of Finance in any coalition cabinet. [97]

Immediately after the elections, two factions emerged in the ČSSD,[ citation needed ] one supporting chairman Bohuslav Sobotka and the other led by Michal Hašek, ČSSD's leader in Moravia. Hašek, with support from President Miloš Zeman, issued a statement calling for Bohuslav Sobotka to resign as party chairman. ČSSD leaders had already appointed Hašek as the lead negotiator in coalition talks due to take place with other parties. A few days previously, Michal Hašek had declared his loyalty to Sobotka, and endorsed him as leader of ČSSD. ČSSD members organized meetings and rallies against Hašek, and Sobotka compared Hašek to Zdeněk Fierlinger, ČSSD's pro-Communist leader from 1948 who forced the party to merge with the Communist regime. [98] [99] Sobotka was supported by Jiří Dienstbier Jr., the party's most recent presidential candidate, while Hašek was supported by party figures including Jeroným Tejc and Lubomír Zaorálek.[ citation needed ] According to opinion polls, the situation was perceived by the public as an attempted leadership coup.[ citation needed ] Subsequently, Hašek and his allies, in the face of popular and party support for Bohuslav Sobotka, resigned their positions within the party and lost influence. A new negotiation team was formed, led by Bohuslav Sobotka, to negotiate with ANO and KDU-ČSL.[ citation needed ]

Government formation

On 11 November, ČSSD began coalition talks with ANO and KDU-ČSL. All parties agreed on progressive taxation, abolition of the previous government's social reforms and a law about property origin. However, disagreement remained between ČSSD and KDU-ČSL regarding church restitution. [100] [101]

In late December 2013, leaders of ČSSD, ANO and KDU-ČSL announced that they had reached an agreement on a coalition government. The coalition agreement was signed on 6 January 2014. The parties also agreed on a cabinet, [102] in which ČSSD took eight ministries, ANO seven ministries and KDU-ČSL three ministries. Sobotka became prime minister, with Babiš deputy prime minister and minister of finance, and KDU-ČSL leader Pavel Bělobrádek second deputy Prime Minister. [103] Bohuslav Sobotka's Cabinet was sworn in on 29 January 2014.

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