Czech Republic – Semi-presidentialism adopted

The Czech Republic will become semi-presidential on 1 October. A constitutional amendment to introduce the direct election of the president was passed by both chambers of the legislature last month. The Act takes effect in October. The first direct election will be held in 2013.

I do not have the text of the amendment in English. However, there are French, German and Russian versions here. The constitution before it was amended is available in English here.

The system will be a premier-presidential form of semi-presidentialism. Generally, the Czech Republic will enter the set of countries with a weak directly elected president. For example, Siaroff gives the Czech president a score of 1/9 for presidential powers. Those who use the Shugart and Carey schema (or an amended version of it) also give the Czech president a low score. For example, using Metcalf’s revised version of the Shugart and Carey framework, Tavits gives the Czech president a score of 5/44. The recent amendment only deals with the method of election. The president’s powers remain unchanged.

I would like to thank Miroslav Makajev for letting me know that the reform had been passed.

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