Senate of the Czech Republic

Last updated
Senate
of the Parliament of the Czech Republic

Senát
Parlamentu České republiky
Senate of the Czech Republic Logo.svg
Type
Type
Leadership
Miloš Vystrčil, ODS
since 19 February 2020
1st Vice-President
Jiří Růžička, TOP 09
since 14 November 2018
Vice-President
Milan Štěch, ČSSD
since 14 November 2018
Vice-President
Miluše Horská, KDU-ČSL
since 14 November 2018
Vice-President
Jan Horník, STAN
since 14 November 2018
Vice-President
Jiří Oberfalzer, ODS
since 14 November 2018
Structure
Seats81
Czech Republic Senate October 2018.svg
Political groups
Elections
Two-round system
Last election
October 2018
Next election
October 2020
Meeting place
Senat 2833.jpg
Wallenstein Palace, Prague
Website
www.senat.cz

The Senate of the Parliament of the Czech Republic (Czech : Senát Parlamentu České republiky), usually referred to as Senate, is the upper chamber of the Parliament of the Czech Republic. The seat of the Senate is Wallenstein Palace in Prague.

Contents

Structure

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This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
the Czech Republic

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Wallenstein Palace in Prague, the main building of the Senate. WallensteinPalacePrague.jpg
Wallenstein Palace in Prague, the main building of the Senate.

The Senate has 81 members, chosen in one-seat constituencies through the two-round system. If no candidate receives a majority of votes in the first round, there is a second round between the two highest-placed candidates. The term of office for Senators is six years, and elections are staggered so that a third of the seats are up for election every two years. A candidate for the Senate does not need to be on a political party's ticket (unlike in the Chamber of Deputies).

The Senate has one President and four Vice-presidents. [1] Its members participate in specialised committees and commissions. [2] [3] The Senate Chancellery has been created to provide professional, organisational and technical services. The Senate occupies several historical palaces in centre of Prague, in Malá Strana quarter. [4] In 2005 its budget was 561.2 million CZK.

Powers

The Senate can delay a proposed law which was approved by the Chamber of Deputies but this veto can be overridden by an absolute majority (i.e. at least 101 of all 200 members) of the Chamber of Deputies in a repeated vote. The Senate, however, cannot be overridden when it votes on electoral law, constitutional law and on international treaties.

The Senate decides on confirmation of judges of the Constitutional Court, proposed by the President. It often uses this power to block unacceptable nominants and may propose new laws. However, the Senate does not get to vote on the country's budget or on confidence in the government, unlike the Chamber of Deputies.

The President of the Senate is the second-highest official of the Czech Republic for ceremonial purposes, after the President of the Republic, but without much real political power.

History

The Senate was established in constitutional law of the Czech National Council (ČNR) No. 1/1993 on 16 December 1992. [5] The immediate reason for its creation was a need to find a place for members of the Federal Assembly, dissolved together with Czechoslovakia. Other reasons given were the positioning of the Senate as a safety device ("pojistka") correcting laws endorsed by lower chamber and as a power balancing tool against the dominance of a single party, especially regarding constitution and electoral law. Due to opposition by the Civic Democratic Alliance (who had members in ČNR, the new lower chamber, but not in the Federal Assembly) and those politicians fearing dilution of power the Senate was not set up. The first elections were held in 1996, with voter turnout around 35% (much lower than turnout for the lower chamber). Further elections were held in accordance with the Constitution every two years after that.

The Senate has received criticism for being essentially powerless and unnecessary for a country of the size of the Czech Republic. However, the likely most prominent critic of Czech Senate, prime minister Andrej Babiš, has expressed his plan to change the electoral into Chamber of Deputies into First-past-the-post voting, something that cannot be done without consent of the Senate, plus the Czech constitution prohibits such system for lower chamber.

Political parties

Results of the Czech Senate election, 2018

Polling station of the electoral district no. 70 in Olomouc during Czech Senate elections and the regional elections held in the Czech Republic on 7 October 2016 2016 Czech Republic elections in Olomouc.jpg
Polling station of the electoral district no. 70 in Olomouc during Czech Senate elections and the regional elections held in the Czech Republic on 7 October 2016
Party [n 1] First roundSecond roundSeats
Votes%Runners-upVotes%SeatsWonNot upTotal+/–
Civic Democratic Party 163,63015.0211116,37627.861010616+7
ANO 2011 147,47713.541057,50013.7511670
Czech Social Democratic Party 100,4789.22533,8878.10111213-12
Christian and Democratic Union – Czechoslovak People's Party 99,3839.12534,8338.33121416+2
Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia 80,3717.3813,5780.860000-1
Mayors and Independents 79,0257.25447,31711.3145510+5
Freedom and Direct Democracy 70,1106.4400000
Czech Pirate Party 66,2816.08317,5284.2011010
TOP 09 41,9803.85222,5805.401123+1
Senator 21 33,8603.11324,2505.801156
Marek Hilšer for Senate15,0451.38111,9032.851101+1
Freeholder Party of the Czech Republic 12,2651.1317,1761.7200110
For Health11,1801.030000
Realists 8,4070.770000
Party of Common Sense 7,1860.660000
Ostravak6,1780.5704,9061.171101
Movement for Prague 114,9800.460011
New Future for Liberec Region4,7440.440000
SNK European Democrats 4,4460.410000
Czech National Social Party 4,4380.410000
Pévéčko3,4250.310000
Czech Sovereignty 3,3000.300000
Party of Civic Rights 3,2860.300000
Party of Free Citizens 2,8840.260000
Moravian Country Movement2,6410.240000
Ordinary Citizens2,0100.180000
Green Party 1,8180.170011-1
Moravian and Silesian Pirate Party1,7890.160000
Moravané 1,4840.140000
Koruna Česká 1,4430.130000
Patriots of the Czech Republic1,3690.130000
NE-VOLIM1,3460.120000
Order of Nation 1,1720.110000
INDEPENDENTS1,0610.100000
Club of Committed Non-Party Members 1,0010.090000
Alternative for Czechia 20177940.070000
Party of State of Direct Democracy4990.050000
Citizens of the Czech Republic4910.050000
Alliance of National Forces3900.040000
Enough is Enough2580.020000
Roma Democratic Party2160.020000
Nation Together410.000000
Independents 95,5078.76435,9388.593336+4
Invalid/blank votes46,5732,151
Total1,136,26210050419,923100242754810
Registered voters/turnout2,743,74541.412,547,48816.48
Source: VOLBY.CZ


History

Composition of the Senate of the Czech Republic
PartySeats
20142016 [lower-alpha 1] 2018 by [lower-alpha 2] 20182019 by [lower-alpha 3] TOTAL
Civic Democratic Party 231015
Christian and Democratic Union – Czechoslovak People's Party 57214
Czech Social Democratic Party 102113
Mayors and Independents 1315111
ANO 2011 43-11-16
TOP 09 213
Green Party 22
Senator 21 112
Czech Pirate Party 11
Party of Civic Rights 11-11
Ostravak Movement 11
Freeholder Party of the Czech Republic 11
Mayors for Liberec Region 11
Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia
Independents 64 [lower-alpha 4] 10
Total27272781
  1. Includes the 2017 re-run in constituency 4
  2. By-elections for two seats in the 2014 class, constituencies 39 and 78
  3. By-election for one seat in the 2014 class, constituency 24
  4. Includes Marek Hilšer, who technically run for the "Marek Hilšer for Senate" party

Sources: Senate, Volby.cz, cs:Volby do Senátu Parlamentu České republiky 2014,
cs:Volby do Senátu Parlamentu České republiky 2016, cs:Volby do Senátu Parlamentu České republiky 2018
Constituencies in which the election was held:

  • 2014: 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 21, 24, 27, 30, 33, 36, 39, 42, 45, 48, 51, 54, 57, 60, 63, 66, 69, 72, 75, 78, 81
  • 2016: 1, 4, 7, 10, 13, 16, 19, 22, 25, 28, 31, 34, 37, 40, 43, 46, 49, 52, 55, 58, 61, 64, 67, 70, 73, 76, 79
  • 2018: 2, 5, 8, 11, 14, 17, 20, 23, 26, 29, 32, 35, 38, 41, 44, 47, 50, 53, 56, 59, 62, 65, 68, 71, 74, 77, 80

See also

Notes

  1. Name of "nominating party" (navrhující strana).

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References

  1. Senators Senate website
  2. Senate Committees Senat website
  3. Senate Commissions Senate website
  4. Seat of the Senate [ permanent dead link ] Senate website
  5. Ústavní zmìny v dobì od pádu komunismu Bulletin Scientia Politica (in Czech)

Coordinates: 50°05′24″N14°24′19″E / 50.09000°N 14.40528°E / 50.09000; 14.40528