Czech Republic – First presidential election will generate a period of cohabitation

The Czech Republic has elected its first directly elected president. Here is the result:

  • Milos Zeman (Czech Social Democratic Party) 54.8%
  • Karel Schwarzenberg (Tradition Responsibility Prosperity 09) 45.2%
  • Turnout 59.11%

So, consistent with the predictions of commentators like Sean Hanley, former PM Milos Zeman is the new president.

As reported in a recent article, the Czech president has very few powers. So, we have yet another directly elected but figurehead president to add to the list.

That said, the president is not a cipher. According to my figures. PresidentKlaus has vetoed no fewer than 63 bills since 2003. In addition, his decision to amnesty a large number of prisoners at the New Year caused a political storm. So, even if the Czech president is weak, the institution has the capacity to be both politically active and controversial.

Moreover, the election of Zeman will lead to a period of cohabitation. The government of Petr Necas comprises the ODS, TOP 09 and LIDEM parties. The CSDP is in opposition. So, the Czech Republic will get a real taste of semi-presidentialism when President-elect Zeman takes office in March.

2 thoughts on “Czech Republic – First presidential election will generate a period of cohabitation

  1. Mr Pink

    Zeman was the candidate of the Citizens Rights Party – Zemanites (SPOZ) NOT the Social Democratic Party, which he quit several years ago. The Social Democrats ran their own candidate – who attached Zeman fiercely – and then advised their supporters to mere;y‘consider voting’ for Zeman in the second round.

  2. Robert Elgie

    Thanks for the clarification. I think I am correct in saying, though, that it will generate a period of cohabitation.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *