The Czech Republic is a parliamentary democracy. Its supreme law is the Constitution of the Czech Republic together with the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms. In its current form, the Constitution has been valid since 1 January 1993, i.e. since the date the independent Czech state was established, as a result of the separation of Czechoslovakia.
Power is divided into legislative (Czech Parliament), executive (Czech Government and the President of the Czech Republic) and judicial.
The Parliament consists of two chambers - the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house, and the Senate, the upper house. Every citizen who is at least 18 years old is entitled to vote for candidates to the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate.
Chamber of Deputies:
The Chamber of Deputies is made up of 200 members who are elected once in four years. The election system is based on the principles of proportionate representation. A new Czech Government is established on the basis of the results of these elections.
Every citizen of the Czech Republic who is entitled to vote and is at least 21 years of age, can be elected to the Chamber of Deputies.
Members are elected as representatives of individual political parties, after their election the parties create parliamentary clubs in the Chamber of Deputies.
The Senate was established in 1996. 81 senators are elected with a six-year term of office according to the principles of the majority election system. The elections take place every two years, when one third of the Senators are newly elected (during the first elections one third of the senators were only elected for a two-year term of office, a third for a four-year term of office and a third for a six-year term of office. At the next elections after two years one third of the senators, with a “two-year term of office“ were replaced with new senators who were elected for a six-year term of office). Every citizen of the Czech Republic, who is entitled to vote and is at least 40 years old, can be elected to the Senate.
The Senate is conceived as a counterweight to the House of Parliament, as an element establishing conditions for a better quality legislative process and as an element of Parliamentary continuity in the event that the Chamber of Deputies is dissolved.
The Government is the supreme body of executive power. It consists of the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and Ministers, and coordinates activities of the ministries and the central bodies of the state administration and manages the state administration throughout the territory of the state. The Government has exclusive legislative initiative in terms of the state budget.
The President of the Republic is the head of the state and the supreme commander of the armed forces. The President is elected by the members of Parliament and the senators during a joint meeting. A President is elected once every five years and may serve a maximum of two successive terms in office. The President’s term of office begins when he takes his vow.
Presidential power is limited; the most important is the right to veto any bill which has already been passed by Parliament, with the exception of constitutional bills. This power is void in times of constitutional or other political crises.
Judicial power is executed in the name of the republic by independent courts of law. During the execution of their function, the judges should be independent and no one may threaten their objectivity. The court system is made up of the Supreme Court, Supreme Administrative Court, Supreme, Regional and District Courts.
The Constitutional Court
The Constitutional Court was set up to protect constitutional rights. It consists of 15 judges who are appointed by the President - with the consent of the Senate - for a term of ten years. In their decisions, judges are bound only by constitutional laws, international treaties, and by a law designating the proceedings of the constitutional court.
The Supreme Court
The Supreme Court is the supreme judicial body in all matters within the jurisdiction of the courts, except those within the jurisdiction of the constitutional court or the supreme administrative court. The judges are bound only by law and they are in a position to decide whether other legal regulations are in accordance with the law.