Direct Election of the President and its Constitutional and Political Consequences Cover Image

Direct Election of the President and its Constitutional and Political Consequences
Direct Election of the President and its Constitutional and Political Consequences

Author(s): Jan Wintr, Marek Antoš, Jan Kysela
Subject(s): Politics / Political Sciences
Published by: Univerzita Karlova, Fakulta sociálních věd, Katedra politologie Institutu politologických studií
Keywords: direct election; head of state; constitutional conventions; parliamentary system; semi-presidentialism

Summary/Abstract: The introduction of direct presidential elections in the Czech Republic was motivated mainly by the bad experience associated with the last indirect election in 2008 and efforts to respond to the long-standing desire of the Czech public for election of the president by popular vote. The intention of the constitution-maker was not a transition to a semi-presidential system, but rather to maintain the existing parliamentary form of government. The key factor for the constitutional position of the president remains the provisions of the Constitution stating that the president is not accountable for the discharge of his office and that the government is accountable for the majority of the head of state’s decisions. Many specific restrictions of the presidency follow from constitutional conventions created over the course of the last 20 years of the independent existence of the Czech Republic and partially relate to rules existing in other parliamentary systems. President Miloš Zeman, vested with stronger legitimacy as a result of direct election, in some cases attempted to change these constitutional conventions and to interpret his powers in an expansive manner.

  • Issue Year: 8/2016
  • Issue No: 2
  • Page Range: 145-163
  • Page Count: 18
  • Language: English