Senate of the Czech Republic

Last updated
Senate
of the Parliament of the Czech Republic
Senate of the Czech Republic Logo.svg
Type
Type
Leadership
Miloš Vystrčil, ODS
since 19 February 2020
1st Vice-President
Jiří Růžička, STAN+TOP 09
since 14 November 2018
Vice-President
Jitka Seitlová, KDU-ČSL
since 11 November 2020
Vice-President
Jan Horník, STAN
since 14 November 2018
Vice-President
Jiří Oberfalzer, ODS
since 14 November 2018
Structure
Seats81
Senate of the Czech Republic 2020.svg
Political groups
  •   ForRegion Group (9)
Elections
Two-round system
Last 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

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 single-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. [3] Its members participate in specialised committees and commissions. [4] [5] 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. 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

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

The Senate was established in constitutional law of the Czech National Council (ČNR) No. 1/1993 on 16 December 1992. [6] 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[ by whom? ] 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.

Latest election results

Results of the Czech Senate election, 2018.

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

Current composition of the Senate

Composition of the Senate of the Czech Republic
PartySeats
2016 [lower-alpha 1] 20182020TOTAL
Mayors and Independents 3511
19 / 81
Civic Democratic Party 3105
18 / 81
Christian and Democratic Union – Czechoslovak People's Party 723
12 / 81
ANO 2011 311
5 / 81
TOP 09 212
5 / 81
Czech Social Democratic Party 21
3 / 81
Senator 21 12
3 / 81
Czech Pirate Party 11
2 / 81
Green Party 1
1 / 81
Svobodní 1
1 / 81
Severočeši.cz 1
1 / 81
Ostravak Movement 1
1 / 81
Hradec Králové Democratic Club1
1 / 81
Movement for Prague 111
1 / 81
Marek Hilšer for Senate1
1 / 81
United Democrats — Association of Independents 1
1 / 81
Citizens Together — Independents1
1 / 81
Citizens Patriots1
1 / 81
Independents 13
4 / 81
Total27272781
  1. Includes the 2017 re-run in constituency 4

Sources: Senate,
cs:Volby do Senátu Parlamentu České republiky 2016, cs:Volby do Senátu Parlamentu České republiky 2018
Volby.cz, cs:Volby do Senátu Parlamentu České republiky 2020,
Constituencies in which the election was held:

  • 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
  • 2020: 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

See also

Notes

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

Related Research Articles

Politics of the Czech Republic Political system of the Czech Republic

The Czech Republic is a unitary parliamentary constitutional republic, in which the President is the head of state and the Prime Minister is the head of government.
Executive power is exercised by the Government of the Czech Republic which reports to the Chamber of Deputies. The Legislature is exercised by the Parliament. Czech Parliament is bicameral, the upper house of the Parliament is the Senate, the lower house of the Parliament is the Chamber of Deputies. The Senate consists of 81 members who are elected for six years. The Chamber of Deputies consists of 200 members who are elected for four years. The Judiciary system is topped by the trio of Constitutional Court, Supreme Court and Supreme Administrative Court.
The highest legal document is the Constitution of the Czech Republic, complemented by constitutional laws and the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms. The current constitution went in effect on 1st January 1993, after the Dissolution of Czechoslovakia.

President of the Czech Republic

The president of the Czech Republic is the elected head of state of the Czech Republic and the commander-in-chief of the military of the Czech Republic.

Constitution of the Czech Republic

The Constitution of the Czech Republic is the supreme law of the Czech Republic. The current constitution was adopted by the Czech National Council on 16 December 1992. It entered into force on 1 January 1993, replacing the 1960 Constitution of Czechoslovakia and the constitutional act No. 143/1968 Col., when Czechoslovakia gave way to the Slovak Republic and the Czech Republic in a peaceful dissolution.

Elections in the Czech Republic Election system and overview of past elections in the Czech Republic

All elections in the Czech Republic are based on the principle of universal suffrage. Any adult citizen who is at least 18 years old can vote, except those who have been stripped of their legal capacities by a court, usually on the basis of mental illness. Elected representatives are elected directly by the citizens without any intermediaries. Election laws are not part of the constitution, but – unlike regular laws – they cannot be changed without the consensus of both houses of the Parliament. The Czech Republic uses a two-round plurality voting system for the Presidential and Senate elections and an open party-list proportional representation system for all other elections. The proportional representation system uses the D'Hondt method for allocating seats.

Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Republic Lower chamber of the bicameral Parliament of the Czech Republic

The Chamber of Deputies, officially the Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic, is the lower house of the Parliament of the Czech Republic. The chamber has 200 seats and deputies are elected for four-year terms using the party-list proportional representation system with the D'Hondt method. Since 2002, there are 14 constituencies, matching the Czech regions. A Cabinet is answerable to the Chamber of Deputies and the Prime Minister stays in office only as long as they retain the support of a majority of its members. The quorum is set by law to one third (67) of elected deputies. Any changes to the constitutional laws must be approved by at least 60 percent of the Chamber of Deputies. The seat of the Chamber of Deputies is the Thun Palace in Malá Strana, Prague.

Parliament of the Czech Republic legislature of the Czech Republic

The Parliament of the Czech Republic or just Parliament is the legislative body of the Czech Republic, seated in Malá Strana, Prague.

Constitutional Court of the Czech Republic

The Constitutional Court of the Czech Republic is a specialized type of court which primarily works to protect the people in the Czech Republic against violations of the Constitution by either the legislature, government or by any other subject that violates people's constitutional rights and freedoms. In this respect, it is similar in functionality to the Supreme Court of the United States, but is distinct from the Supreme Court of the Czech Republic. Of all the various levels of the Czech Judiciary it is the one created with the greatest specificity in the constitution.

Constitution of Madagascar

The current Constitution of Madagascar was, according to the national electoral commission, endorsed by a majority of voters in the constitutional referendum held on 14 November 2010. The new constitution launched the Fourth Republic of Madagascar and was widely seen as an attempt to consolidate and legitimise the rule of Andry Rajoelina and his High Transitional Authority government which was installed after a military-backed coup d'état against President Marc Ravalomanana at the beginning of the ongoing national political crisis. One substantive change from the constitution of the Third Republic was to lower the minimum age for presidential candidates from 40 to 35. This made Rajoelina, aged 36 at the time, eligible to stand in presidential elections.

President of the Chamber of Deputies (Czech Republic)

The President of the Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic, also referred to as the Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, is an elected presiding member of the Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Republic. Since 22 November 2017, the president has been Radek Vondráček of ANO 2011.

Czech Pirate Party Political party in the Czech Republic

The Czech Pirate Party or Pirates is a liberal progressive political party in the Czech Republic, founded in 2009. The party was founded as a student-driven grassroots movement campaigning for political transparency, civil rights and direct democracy.

2010 Czech Senate election

Senate elections were held in the Czech Republic for a third of the Czech Senate in October 2010. The first round was held on 15 and 16 October 2010, with a second round on 22 and 23 October 2010.

The Jewish Party was a political party of the First Czechoslovak Republic. It was founded in 1919 by the Jewish National Council in Prague. It was the strongest Jewish political party in the interwar Czechoslovakia although many Jews were rather active in non-Jewish parties, be they Czech, German or Hungarian. The party adopted a Zionist political program and succeeded in influencing the Czechoslovak government to acknowledge Jews as an official national minority in the constitution of 1920.

2013 Czech legislative election

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.

Tomio Okamura Czech far-right politician

Tomio Okamura is a Czech far-right politician and entrepreneur of Moravian and Japanese descent. He founded the Czech political parties Dawn of Direct Democracy and Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD). Since October 2013, he has been Member of the Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Republic (MP), initially for Dawn of Direct Democracy and then from May 2015 for SPD, of which he is also leader. He previously served as an independent Senator for Zlín district from October 2012 until his election to the Chamber of Deputies a year later.

Elections in the First Czechoslovak Republic

Parliamentary elections in the First Czechoslovak Republic were held in 1920, 1925, 1929 and 1935. The Czechoslovak National Assembly consisted of two chambers, the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate, both elected through universal suffrage. During the First Republic, many political parties struggled for political influence and only once did a single party muster a quarter of the national vote. Parties were generally set up along ethnic lines.

1998 Czech presidential election

Indirect presidential elections were held in the Czech Republic on 20 January 1998 to elect a new President. The Parliament re-elected incumbent President Václav Havel in the second round. The arrest of an opposition candidate, Miroslav Sládek, was criticised by Havel's opponents.

Ivan Bartoš Czech computer specialist, activist and politician

Ivan Bartoš is a Czech software architect, civil rights activist, politician and a member of the Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Republic since October 2017. He has been the chairman of the Czech Pirate Party since 2016, previously holding the title between 2009 and 2014. He also serves as the chairman of the Committee on Public Administration and Regional Development since November 2017.

History of Czech civilian firearms possession Czech firearms possession

History of Czech civilian firearms possession extends over 600 years back when the Czech lands became the center of firearms development, both as regards their technical aspects as well as tactical use.

References

  1. "Vstup do ODS".
  2. "Senát Parlamentu České republiky". January 2012.
  3. Senators Senate website
  4. Senate Committees Senat website
  5. Senate Commissions Senate website
  6. 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