Senate of the Czech Republic

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Senate
of the Parliament of the Czech Republic

Senát
Parlamentu České republiky
Coat of arms or logo
Type
Type
History
Founded 1996 (first elections)
Leadership
President
Milan Štěch, ČSSD
Since 24 November 2010
1st Vice-President
Miluše Horská, KDU-ČSL
Since 16 November 2016
Vice-President
Ivo Bárek, ČSSD
Since 19 November 2014
Vice-President
Jaroslav Kubera, ODS
Since 19 November 2016
Vice-President
Jiří Šesták, STAN
Since 19 November 2016
Structure
Seats 81
Czech Republic Senate June 2018.svg
Political groups
  •      ČSSD (23)
  •      KDU-ČSL (16)
  •      STAN (12)
  •      ODS (10)
  •      ANO (6)
  •      SEN 21 (5)
  •      Not in group (7)
  •      Vacant (2)
Elections
Two-round system
Last election
October 2016
Next election
October 2018
Meeting place
Senat 2833.jpg
Wallenstein Palace, Prague
Website
www.senat.cz

The Senate of the Parliament of the Czech Republic (Czech: Senát Parlamentu České republiky), usually referred to as Senate, is the upper chamber of the Parliament of the Czech Republic. The seat of the Senate is Wallenstein Palace in Prague.

Structure[edit]

Wallenstein Palace in Prague, the main building of the Senate
Coat of arms of the Czech Republic.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
the Czech Republic
Czech Republic bar 1.svg
Political parties
Foreign relations

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The Senate has 81 members, elected for six years, every two years one third of them, in one-seat constituencies through two rounds majority system (the second round is between two candidates with highest number of votes from the first round – if no candidate obtains 50+% majority in the first round). A candidate for the Senate does not need to be on a political party's ticket (unlike the lower chamber).

The senate has one President and four Vice-presidents.[1] Its members participate in specialised committees and commissions.[2][3]

The Senate Chancellery has been created to provide professional, organisational and technical services. The Senate occupies several historical palaces in centre of Prague, in Malá Strana quarter.[4] In 2005 its budget was 561.2 million CZK.

Powers[edit]

The Senate can delay a proposed law which was approved by the Chamber of Deputies but this veto can be overridden by an absolute majority (i.e. at least 101 of all 200 members) of the Chamber of Deputies in a repeated vote. The Senate, however, cannot be overridden when it votes on electoral law, constitutional law and on international treaties.

Senate decides on confirmation of judges of the Constitutional Court, proposed by the President. It often uses this power to block unacceptable nominants and may propose new laws. However, the Senate does not get to vote on the country's budget or on confidence in the government, unlike the Chamber of Deputies.

The President (Speaker or Chairperson) of the Senate is the second-highest official of the Czech Republic for ceremonial purposes, after the President of the Republic, but without much real power.

History[edit]

The Senate was established in constitutional law of the Czech National Council (ČNR) No. 1/1993 on 16 December 1992.[5] The immediate reason for its creation was a need to find a place for members of the Federal Assembly, dissolved together with Czechoslovakia. Other reasons given were the positioning of the Senate as a safety device ("pojistka") correcting laws endorsed by lower chamber and as a power balancing tool against the dominance of a single party.

Due to opposition by the Civic Democratic Alliance (who had members in ČNR, the new lower chamber, but not in the Federal Assembly) and those politicians fearing dilution of power the Senate was not set up. The first elections were held in 1996, with voter turnout around 35% (much lower than turnout for the lower chamber). Further elections were held in accordance with the Constitution every two years after that.

The Senate has received criticism for being essentially powerless and unnecessary for a country of the size of the Czech Republic.

Political parties[edit]

Results of the Czech Senate election, 2016

Polling station of the electoral district no. 70 in Olomouc during Czech Senate elections and the regional elections held in the Czech Republic on 7 October 2016
Party[6] First round Second round Seats
Votes % Votes % Won Not up Total +/–
ANO 2011 151,388 17.18 92,051 21.71 3 4 7 +3
Czech Social Democratic Party 128,830 14.62 55,622 13.12 2 23 25 –10
Civic Democratic Party 103,216 11.71 42,551 10.03 3 6 9 –5
Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia 83,741 9.50 5,737 1.35 0 1 1 0
KDU-ČSL 74,709 8.48 78,448 18.50 6 8 14 +4
TOP 09 70,653 8.02 30,820 7.27 2 0 2 +1
Mayors and Independents 43,234 4.91 25,389 5.99 2 3 5 +1
Green Party 18,798 2.13 12,565 2.96 1 3 4 +1
Mayors for Liberec Region 18,698 2.12 16,579 3.91 1 1 2 +1
Nestraníci 16,172 1.84 9,849 2.32 1 0 1 0
Dawn - National Coalition 16,078 1.82 0 0 0 0
Severočeši.cz 14,901 1.69 13,377 3.15 2 0 2 0
Citizens Together – Independent 12,892 1.46 10,804 2.55 1 0 1 +1
Freeholder Party 11,093 1.26 0 1 1 0
NEZÁVISLÍ 9,492 1.08 5,634 1.33 0 0 0 0
APAČI 2017 8,714 0.99 0 0 0 0
Czech Pirate Party 7,352 0.83 0 1 1 0
Patriotic Citizens 6,424 0.73 8,966 2.11 1 0 1 +1
Tábor 2020 6,358 0.72 0 0 0 0
Freedom and Direct Democracy 5,988 0.68 0 0 0 0
Moravané 5,394 0.61 0 0 0 0
Movement for Prague 11 4,702 0.53 9,639 2.27 1 0 1 +1
Party of Civic Rights 4,618 0.52 0 1 1 0
Party of Free Citizens 4,568 0.52 0 0 0 0
Změna 4,515 0.51 0 0 0 0
JsmePRO! 3,432 0.39 0 0 0 0
Rozumní 3,325 0.38 0 0 0 0
Koruna Česká 3,305 0.38 0 0 0 0
Koalice 3,303 0.37 0 0 0 0
For Prague 3,033 0.34 0 0 0 0
ALTERNATIVA 2,709 0.31 0 0 0 0
Ostravak 2,147 0.24 0 1 1 0
New future for the Liberec Region 2,003 0.23 0 0 0 0
Independent Candidates to the Senate 1,962 0.22 0 0 0 0
Ústecká Citizens' Forum 1,961 0.22 0 0 0 0
SNK European Democrats 1,882 0.21 0 0 0 0
SPR-RSČ 1,812 0.21 0 0 0 0
Order of Nation 1,723 0.20 0 0 0 0
Association of Independent Candidates 1 1,685 0.19 0 0 0 0
South City – Our Home 1,560 0.18 0 0 0 0
SaS 1,296 0.15 0 0 0 0
Workers' Party 1,127 0.13 0 0 0 0
HOZK 938 0.11 0 0 0 0
National Democracy 830 0.09 0 0 0 0
Czech Republic Patriots 632 0.07 0 0 0 0
Czechoslovak Community Party 554 0.06 0 0 0 0
New Direction 551 0.06 0 0 0 0
NáS 380 0.04 0 0 0 0
SSPD-SP 266 0.03 0 0 0 0
Czech National Socialist Party 133 0.02 0 0 0 0
Independents 6,093 0.69 6,058 1.43 1 1 2 +1
Invalid/blank votes 41,323 3,434
Total 922,493 100 427,523 100 27 54 81 0
Registered voters/turnout[7] 2,780,706 33.17 2,780,597 15.38
Source: Volby.cz (results), Volby.cz (turnout)

History[edit]

Composition of the Senate of the Czech Republic
Party Seats
2008 2010 2011 by 2012 2014 2016 TOTAL
Czech Social Democratic Party 22 12 1 13 10 2 25
Christian and Democratic Union – Czechoslovak People's Party 2 2 5 7 16
Civic Democratic Party 3 8 4 2 3 10
Mayors and Independents 2 3 9
ANO 2011 3 7
Green Party 1 2 4
TOP 09 2 2 2
Czech Pirate Party 1 2
Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia 1 1 2
Party of Civic Rights 1 1 2
Ostravak Movement 1 1
Freeholder Party of the Czech Republic 1 1
NorthBohemians.cz 2 0
Independents 1 2 6 6
Total 26 27 1 27 27 27 81
Source: Senate

Constituencies in which the election was held:

  • 2008: 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 21, 24, 27, 33, 36, 39, 42, 45, 48, 51, 54, 57, 60, 63, 66, 69, 72, 75, 78, 81
  • 2010: 1, 4, 7, 10, 13, 16, 19, 22, 25, 28, 31, 34, 37, 40, 43, 46, 49, 52, 55, 58, 61, 64, 67, 70, 73, 76, 79
  • 2011 by-election: 30
  • 2012: 2, 5, 8, 11, 14, 17, 20, 23, 26, 29, 32, 35, 38, 41, 44, 47, 50, 53, 56, 59, 62, 65, 68, 71, 74, 77, 80
  • 2014: 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 21, 24, 27, 33, 36, 39, 42, 45, 48, 51, 54, 57, 60, 63, 66, 69, 72, 75, 78, 81
  • 2016: 1, 4, 7, 10, 13, 16, 19, 22, 25, 28, 31, 34, 37, 40, 43, 46, 49, 52, 55, 58, 61, 64, 67, 70, 73, 76, 79

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Senators Senate website
  2. ^ Senate Committees Senat website
  3. ^ Senate Commissions Senate website
  4. ^ Seat of the Senate[permanent dead link] Senate website
  5. ^ Ústavní zmìny v dobì od pádu komunismu Bulletin Scientia Politica (in Czech)
  6. ^ Name of "nominating party" (navrhující strana).
  7. ^ Turnout calculated by dividing number of votes cast; Czech Statistical Office present figures summing up of all voters who had signed the voter register and get ballot envelopes (vydané obálky), even if they did not cast their votes.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 50°05′24″N 14°24′19″E / 50.09000°N 14.40528°E / 50.09000; 14.40528