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Czech Republic Government
 
 
 

The Czech Republic is a pluralist multi-party parliamentary representative democracy, with the prime minister as head of government. The Parliament (Parlament) is bicameral, with the Chamber of Deputies (Poslanecká Sněmovna) and the Senate (Senát).

The President of the Czech Republic is elected by joint session of the parliament for five-year term (no more than two consecutive). The president is a formal head of state with limited specific powers, most importantly to return laws to the parliament, nominate Constitutional Court judges for Senate's approval, and dissolve the parliament under certain special and rare conditions. He also appoints the prime minister as well the other members of the cabinet on a proposal by the prime minister.

The prime minister is the head of government and wields considerable powers, including the right to set the agenda for most foreign and domestic policy, mobilise the parliamentary majority, and choose governmental ministers.

The Parliament has two chambers. The Chamber of Deputies has 200 members, elected for a four-year term by proportional representation with a 5% election threshold. There are 14 voting districts identical to the country's administrative regions. The Chamber of Deputies, at first the Czech National Council, has the powers and responsibilities of the now defunct federal parliament of the former Czechoslovakia.

The Senate has 81 members, in single-seat constituencies elected by two-round run-off voting for a six-year term, with one third renewed every even year in the autumn. The first election was 1996 (for differing terms). This is patterned after the US Senate but each constituency is of roughly same size and the system used is two-round run-off voting. The Senate is unpopular among the public and suffers from low election turnout; overall roughly 30% in the first round, 20% in the second.

The country's highest court of appeals is the Supreme Court. The Constitutional Court, which rules on constitutional issues, is appointed by the president with Senate approval, and its 15 members serve 10-year terms. The justices of the Constitutional Court have a mandatory retirement age of 70.

Overview

Country name
conventional long form: Czech Republic
conventional short form: Czech Republic
local long form: Ceska Republika
local short form: Cesko

Government type
parliamentary democracy

Capital
name: Prague
geographic coordinates: 50 05 N, 14 28 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October

Administrative divisions
13 regions (kraje, singular - kraj) and 1 capital city* (hlavni mesto); Jihocesky (South Bohemia), Jihomoravsky (South Moravia), Karlovarsky, Kralovehradecky, Liberecky, Moravskoslezsky (Moravia-Silesia), Olomoucky, Pardubicky, Plzensky (Pilsen), Praha (Prague)*, Stredocesky (Central Bohemia), Ustecky, Vysocina, Zlinsky

Independence
1 January 1993 (Czechoslovakia split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia); note - although 1 January is the day the Czech Republic came into being, the Czechs generally consider 28 October 1918, the day the former Czechoslovakia declared its independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, as their independence day

National holiday
Czechoslovak Founding Day, 28 October (1918)


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