The Czech Republic is a parliamentary
democracy, where the Prime Minister and his government
have the executive power. The president formally has a
ceremonial role, but through his right of veto can
influence the legislation. Corruption is a widespread
problem in government and politics. The distrust of
politicians is great. Two parties, the bourgeois
Democratic Citizens' Party (ODS) and the left-wing
Social Democratic Party (ČSSD), have switched to power
since 1990, but have usually ruled in coalition with
several smaller parties. But in the 2017 election, a
relatively new party, Disgruntled Citizens' Action (ANO)
became the largest party.
The constitution was adopted in 1992 but has
subsequently received several additions. Since 2012, the
president is elected directly by the people instead of
being previously elected by Parliament. The president is
head of state and is elected for a term of five years
and can sit for a maximum of two consecutive terms. If a
presidential candidate does not receive at least half of
the votes in the election, a second decisive round is
held between the two candidates who received the most
votes. The president is also the commander-in-chief,
appoints the prime minister and has the right to demand
re-examination of legislative proposals in Parliament.
Although the president mainly has ceremonial powers,
both incumbent President Miloš Zeman and his
representative Václav Klaus have tried to influence
Total population and chart of Czech Republic for years of 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023 and 2024. Also covers population density, birth rate, death rate and population growth rates.
The legislative power lies with Parliament's two
chambers: the Chamber of Deputies (poslanecká
sněmovna) and the Senate (Senát). The
government is responsible for the Chamber of Deputies,
whose 200 members are elected for four years in
proportionate elections. To get a seat in the House, a
party must get at least five percent of the vote. The
Senate has 81 members who are elected for six years by a
majority vote in one-man constituencies. One third of
the senators are replaced every two years. The voting
age is 18 years.
The legislative work mainly takes place in the
Chamber of Deputies, where most laws are pushed through.
The Senate mainly influences proposals for
constitutional amendments, as a three-fifths majority is
required in both chambers for the change to be approved.
The Constitutional Court has repeatedly interfered
with laws and decrees which, according to the Court,
have not been in accordance with the Constitution.
The country has since 1998 been divided into 14
regions. These include decisions on education, care,
environmental policy and regional planning.
The political scene
In the Czech Republic, there has long been a strong
distrust of the traditional political parties. Not
least, a series of corruption scandals have helped to
undermine the confidence of politicians (see Modern
History). To this is added the gap that exists between
usually more liberal Czechs who live in the larger
cities, especially in the economically strong Prague,
and those who live in the countryside where many feel
neglected. Dissatisfaction with social and economic gaps
has created a breeding ground for populist politicians.
From 2014 to 2017, the country was ruled by a
coalition between Social Democrats, Christian Democrats
and the populist party ANO (see below). The
collaboration, however, sounded questionable. The
election in the fall of 2017 was a success for ANO,
which was decidedly the largest party, but the party did
not get its own majority in the Chamber of Deputies and
the formation of government pulled out at the time. Only
in June 2018 was a coalition formed between the ANO and
the Social Democrats. The coalition was dependent on
support from the Communist Party.
Disgruntled Citizens' Action (Akce
nespokojených občanů, ANO) was founded
in 2011 by the entrepreneur, billionaire and former
communist Andrej Babiš. ANO (which means Yes in Czech),
according to the party leader, does not belong to the
right or left bloc in politics and is usually referred
to as populist by the outside world. Babiš says he wants
to run the Czech Republic as a company and fight
corruption and tax fraud.
The Social Democratic Party (Česká
strana sociálněokratická, ČSSD),
founded as early as 1878, differs from other Social
Democratic parties in the former eastern states because
it is not a renamed Communist Party but is based on
social democratic traditions. It became the largest
party in the new election in 2013 and the party's then
leader, Bohuslav Sobotka, was prime minister from 2014
to 2017. However, the party has been weakened by
contradictions between a fairly conservative and
immigrant-critical faction and one that emphasizes
environmental issues and support for vulnerable minority
groups. In the 2017 election, the party came in divided
fifth place with the Communist Party.
The bourgeois Democratic Citizens' Party
(Občanskáokratická strana (ODS)), was
most recently in office 2010-2013. ODS, shaken by a
series of corruption scandals, made a lousy choice in
2013, but strengthened its position somewhat in 2017.
ODS came second but far behind the winning ANO.
Third in the 2017 election was the EU-positive
Czech Pirate Party (Česká
Pirátská Strana, CPS), founded in 2009. The
party advocates greater transparency in public affairs,
opposes all censorship of the internet, wants to take
action against corruption and raise teacher salaries. It
has its main support in Prague and with the educated
In 2013, the dawn of the right-wing
populist Direct Democracy (Úsvit přímé
democracie, UPD) was founded by Senator
Tomio Okamura, who wanted to introduce direct democracy
with referenda at all levels of society. UPD also
advocated ethnic segregation. It entered parliament in
2013, but soon split. In 2015, Okamura formed a new
party, the EU-critical Freedom and Direct
Democracy (Svoboda a přímá democracie,
SPD), which came fourth in the 2017 election.
The Bohemian and Moravian Communist Party
(Komunistická strana Čech a Moravy, KSČM)
has its base among older voters. The party ruled a lot
from the Second World War and up to the Samet Revolution
in 1989 (see Modern History). The economic crisis,
corruption and unpopular cuts have given the Communist
Party new sympathizers. However, the party lost ground
in the 2017 election and came in shared fifth place with
the Social Democrats.
The Christian Democratic Union-People's Party
(Křesťanská a Demokrická unie-Československá
strana lidová, KDU-ČSL) has its roots
in the 19th century Christian social movements. The
party has cooperated with both the right and the left.
It resigned from the Chamber of Deputies in the 2010
election but re-entered 2013. The party has since
belonged to the smaller ones in parliament.
The Right Party Tradition Responsibility
Prosperity (Tradice Odpovědnost Prosperita,
TOP 09) entered parliament in 2010 as
the third largest party and was a member of the
bourgeois government in 2010-2013, but has since lost
ground. In the 2017 election, TOP 09 became the next
smallest party in the House.
At least it is Mayor and Independent
(Starostové a Nezávislí, STAN) that was formed in 2004.
The party works for decentralization and wants to give
municipalities more power.
There are several other small parties: the
Green Party (Strana zelených), which runs
environmental issues. The Green Party was part of the
coalition government in 2007-2010, but then left the
Chamber of Deputies. However, the party is represented
with a mandate in the Senate.
The Social Democratic Civil Rights
Party (Strana Práv Občanů, SPO) formed
in 2009 is considered to be closely related to President
Zeman, but is not represented in Parliament. The
EU-skeptical right-wing party The Free Citizens'
Party (Strana svobodných občanů) has a mandate in the
In 2013, a new Roman party was formed, the
Democratic Party of the Romans (Romskáokratická
New rules have been introduced to counteract
political corruption and limit how large sums that
parties and candidates may invest in an election (see
Current policy). Several parties, the Social Democrats,
ANO and ODS, have also chosen to voluntarily publish
some information on their finances online.
The judiciary consists of district courts, regional
courts, court courts and the Supreme Court. There is
also a Constitutional Court. The judges in higher courts
are appointed by the president, but must be approved by
the Senate. Political pressure on the courts is common.
However, the State Prosecutor has been given a more
independent role in recent years. Corruption is
widespread in the judiciary.