Czech legislative election, 2010

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Czech legislative election, 2010
Czech Republic
2006 ←
28–29 May 2010
→ 2013

200 seats in the Chamber of Deputies
101 seats were needed for a majority
  First party Second party Third party
  Jiri Paroubek 2009.JPG Praha, Malá Strana, Kampa, Petr Nečas 3 (cropped).JPG Karl von Schwarzenberg.jpg
Leader Jiří Paroubek Petr Nečas Karel Schwarzenberg
Party Social Democratic Civic Democratic TOP 09
Last election 74 seats 81 seats Did not stand
Seats won 56 53 41
Seat change −18 −28 +41
Popular vote 1,155,267 1,057,792 873,833
Percentage 22.08% 20.22% 16.70%

  Fourth party Fifth party Sixth party
  Vojtech Filip full frontal.jpg Radek John 2.jpg Cyril Svoboda.jpg
Leader Vojtěch Filip Radek John Cyril Svoboda
Party Communist Public Affairs Christian Democratic
Last election 26 seats Did not stand 13 seats
Seats won 26 24 0
Seat change 0 +24 −13
Popular vote 589,765 569,127 229,717
Percentage 11.27% 10.88% 4.39%

Prime Minister before election

Jan Fischer
Independent

Elected Prime Minister

Petr Nečas
Civic Democratic

A legislative election in the Czech Republic took place on 28–29 May 2010.[1] The election had been expected to take place some time before the end of 2009 (originally set for 9–10 October 2009, see below) to elect the members of the Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Republic.[2] Before the election, the country had been governed by a caretaker administration.[3]

The election saw a loss of support for the Social Democratic Party (ČSSD), although they still received the highest number of votes.[4] The conservative Civic Democratic Party (ODS) and TOP 09 followed in second and third, while the Communist Party finished fourth. Social Democrat leader Jiří Paroubek resigned after the election, conceding that a conservative coalition government appeared likely, with the rise of two new right-wing parties—TOP 09 and Public Affairs. In June, centre-right coalition of Civic Democratic Party, TOP 09, and Public Affairs was formed, with Petr Nečas becoming the prime minister.

Background[edit]

Incumbent PM Mirek Topolánek had lost a no-confidence vote on 24 March 2009. After four failed earlier attempts, the opposition Social Democrats succeeded in leading the lower house of the Czech parliament to a no confidence vote in Topolánek's government. The measure passed with 101 votes to 96, largely due to several members of Topolánek's own party voting with the opposition.[5]

On 28 March 2009, Jiří Paroubek (the Social Democrat leader) and Topolánek agreed to hold early polls in October 2009.[6] They later agreed to form an interim government of experts (before the end of the Czech EU presidency), with half nominated by the Social Democrats and half by two parties of the current government (Civic Democratic Party (ODS) and Greens; the third party KDU–ČSL did not participate), and that early elections would be held on 16–17 October 2009.[7] On 5 April 2009, Paroubek and Topolánek agreed on Jan Fischer, the head of the national statistical office, as interim PM who would take over on 8 May 2009, and stated that elections would be held by 15 October 2009, most likely on 9–10 October 2009.[2]

The newly founded party Tradition Responsibility Prosperity 09, which split off from the KDU–ČSL, also contested the election. In some polls, it was already in fourth place, closely behind the KSČM.[8]

The election date was originally officially set on 1 July 2009.[9] Due to a complaint filed by independent ex-Social Democrat MP Miloš Melčák (he filed because he claimed he has the right to sit in parliament for a full term), the election was postponed as the Constitutional Court examined the legality of the law setting the election date.[10] A hearing was set for 10 September 2009; if the court had ruled at that date against the complaint, elections would have been held as planned. In either case, politicians were in agreement that they would have changed the constitution to simplify the procedure of calling early elections, and using the new provisions, the election would have been held at most with a month's delay[11][12] regardless of the court's decision (likely on 6–7 November).[13][14]

Set of ballots with instructions (version for electoral district of Central Bohemia) as delivered to voters at least three days prior to elections

The Court viewed the Constitutional Act calling for one off early elections as an individual retroactive decision in violation of then-effective constitutional procedure regulating early election, and abolished the act on the basis of its violating the procedure for constitutional amendment, the right to vote, and the unalienable principle of a law-abiding state.[15] As the Court ruled the election date invalid, the laws (a constitutional amendment and a law shortening election deadlines) were passed on 11 September as planned.[16] President Klaus signed the laws on 12 September, and parliament planned to dissolve itself on 15 September.[17] Melčák stated, however, that he would likely file another complaint if this plan had gone ahead.[18]

In a surprise move, the Social Democrats announced on 15 September that it would not vote in favour of dissolution, as the new law was likely to be challenged by Melčák again and this would again call the legality of the election into question; they were now in favour of elections in mid-2010, on the initially scheduled date.[19] The Social Democrats had 71 seats and needed ten more MPs supporting their position to delay the election, but it was considered likely that they would succeed in blocking the election.[20][21] The Christian and Democratic Union (KDU-ČSL) also withdrew their support for early elections, meaning the election will be held in May 2010.[22]

Following controversial comments about the Catholic Church, Jews and gays, the Civic Democrat chairman Topolánek withdrew from the election and resigned as party leader on 26 March 2010.[23] He was replaced by Petr Nečas.[24]

Results[edit]

Proportion of seats after the election

The centre-left Social Democrats won the most votes, with 22.1%.[3] The conservative Civic Democratic Party and TOP 09 followed with 20.2% and 16.7% respectively. The Communist Party came fourth with 11.3%, slightly ahead of the centre-right Public Affairs which received 10.9%.[25] It was the first time that the Communists had failed to finish third in a Czech election.[26] For TOP 09 and Public Affairs, it was the first election in which they had won seats in Parliament.[27] The Christian Democrats (4.4%), the Party of Civic Rights (4.3%) and the Green Party (2.4%), along with Sovereignty (3.7%), failed to gain the 5% necessary to enter parliament.[28][29] 62.6% of voters turned out.[30] The turnout was highest in Prague-West District (71.69%) and lowest in Sokolov District (50.89%). The results were a setback for the Czech Republic's largest parties, the Social Democrats and the Civic Democrats.[31] President Václav Klaus argued the results would cause a "fundamental weakening" of the two parties.[32]

Party Votes % seats +/–
Czech Social Democratic Party 1,155,267 22.08 56 –18
Civic Democratic Party 1,057,792 20.22 53 –28
TOP 09 873,833 16.70 41 New
Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia 589,765 11.27 26 0
Public Affairs 569,127 10.88 24 New
Christian and Democratic Union – Czechoslovak People's Party 229,717 4.39 0 –13
Party of Civic Rights – Zemanovci 226,527 4.33 0 New
Sovereignty – Jana Bobošíková Bloc 192,145 3.67 0 New
Green Party 127,831 2.44 0 –6
Workers' Party of Social Justice 59,888 1.14 0 New
Czech Pirate Party 42,323 0.80 0 New
Party of Free Citizens 38,897 0.74 0 New
Right Bloc 24,750 0.47 0 0
Citizens.cz 13,397 0.25 0 New
Moravané 11,914 0.22 0 0
Conservative Party 4,232 0.08 0 New
Koruna česká 4,024 0.07 0 0
STOP 3,155 0.06 0 New
Coalition for Republic – Republican Party of Czechoslovakia 1,993 0.03 0 0
Czech National Socialist Party 1,371 0.02 0 0
Key Movement 1,099 0.02 0 New
Humanist Party 552 0.01 0 0
European Centre 522 0.00 0 New
Czech National Social Party 295 0.00 0 0
Liberálové.CZ 260 0.00 0 0
National Prosperity 186 0.00 0 New
Invalid/blank votes 32,963
Total 5,230,859 100 200 0
Registered voters/turnout 8,415,892 62.60
Source: Czech Statistical Office
Popular vote
ČSSD
  
22.08%
ODS
  
20.22%
TOP 09
  
16.70%
KSČM
  
11.27%
VV
  
10.88%
KDU-ČSL
  
4.39%
SPOZ
  
4.33%
SBB
  
3.67%
SZ
  
2.44%
Others
  
4.02%

By region[edit]

Winning parties by region
Winning parties by district
Voter turnout by district

Prague[edit]

Parties and coalitions Votes % Seats
TOP 09 173,840 27.27 8
Civic Democratic Party 158,014 24.79 8
Czech Social Democratic Party 96,706 15.17 4
Public Affairs 65,742 10.31 3
Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia 41,647 6,53 2
Green Party 30,528 4.78 0
Party of Civic Rights – Zemanovci 19,851 3.11 0
Total (turnout 68.0%) 637,328   25

Central Bohemian Region[edit]

Parties and coalitions Votes % Seats
Civic Democratic Party 150,465 23.87 7
Czech Social Democratic Party 129,368 20.52 6
TOP 09 110,865 17.59 5
Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia 69,368 11.00 3
Public Affairs 67,601 10.72 3
Sovereignty – Jana Bobošíková Bloc 27,430 4.35 0
Party of Civic Rights – Zemanovci 23,235 3.68 0
Total (turnout 64.26%) 630,203   24

Aftermath[edit]

After the election results became known, Jiří Paroubek resigned as the Social Democrat leader citing disappointment with the outcome,[33] saying of the result "It seems that people have chosen the direction the republic should go in and it is a different direction than the one the Social Democrats were offering".[34] The Social Democrats had led comfortably in polling before the election, and its 22% share of the vote was a significant drop from the party's 32% in the 2006 election.[35] Paroubek conceded that a conservative coalition government was possible.[36] The Civic Democrats, TOP 09 and Public Affairs had each committed to government spending cuts, raising the prospect of the formation of a fiscally conservative Cabinet.[28] The leaders of the three parties held coalition talks shortly after the results were released.[37] Petr Nečas, the head of the Civic Democrats, claimed the three parties had a "common will" to join in government,[32][38] stating that their financial plans would work together to help the country avoid going into a similar crisis to the one Greece suffered at the same time.[34]

After extensive talks regarding the terms of the coalition,[34] Nečas was appointed PM on 28 June 2010.[39]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Willoughby, Ian (5 February 2010). "Czechs to go to polls in general elections on last weekend of May". Radio Prague. Retrieved 7 February 2010. 
  2. ^ a b "UPDATE 2-Czech leaders agree on cabinet, early election". Investing.com. Reuters. 5 April 2009. 
  3. ^ a b Bilefsky, Dan (29 May 2010). "Left Wins Czech Vote, but Right Makes Gains". New York Times. Retrieved 29 May 2010. 
  4. ^ "Czech Republic voters move to right in general election". BBC News. 30 May 2010. 
  5. ^ "Czech MPs oust government in vote". BBC News. 24 March 2009. 
  6. ^ "Czech Party Leaders Agree To Early Polls In October". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Reuters. 28 March 2009. 
  7. ^ [1][dead link]
  8. ^ "Support Eroding for Czech Social Democrats". Angus Reid Global Monitor. 31 August 2009. 
  9. ^ "Czech president calls election for October 9–10". Reuters India. 1 July 2009. 
  10. ^ "Czech Constitutional Court postpones decree on early elections". ČeskéNoviny.cz. 1 September 2009. 
  11. ^ Carney, Sean (3 September 2009). "Czechs Try to Get Snap Election Back on Track". The Wall Street Journal. p. A4. 
  12. ^ Mlcochova, Jana (2 September 2009). "Czech leaders agree to secure quick election". Forbes. Reuters. 
  13. ^ "Czech lawmakers agree to amend Constitution". Aktuálně.cz. 9 September 2009. 
  14. ^ "Czech PM: Election likely in Nov, Oct possible". Reuters. 3 September 2009. 
  15. ^ "Dokument: Stručné zdůvodnění ÚS ke kauze volby". aktualne.cz (in Czech). 10 September 2009. Retrieved 27 September 2010. 
  16. ^ "Verfassungsreform in Prag im Eilzugstempo". Neue Zürcher Zeitung (in German). 12 September 2009. 
  17. ^ "Klaus signs both laws leading to Czech early elections". ČeskéNoviny.cz. ČTK. 12 September 2009. 
  18. ^ "Weg für Neuwahlen geebnet". derStandard.at (in German). 13 September 2009. [dead link]
  19. ^ "Czech Social Democrats say not to back early election move". World Bulletin. Reuters. 15 September 2009. 
  20. ^ "Czech Chamber to hardly dissolve itself without CSSD's support". ČeskéNoviny.cz. ČTK. 15 September 2009. 
  21. ^ "Czech Republic's snap November poll cast in doubt". Monsters and Critics. Deutsche Presse-Agentur. 15 September 2009. 
  22. ^ "Czech Republic's snap November poll likely scrapped (1st Lead)". Monsters and Critics. Deutsche Presse-Agentur. 15 September 2009. 
  23. ^ "Czech ex-premier Topolanek pulls out of election race". Earth Times. Deutsche Presse-Agentur. 25 March 2010. Retrieved 26 March 2010. 
  24. ^ "Necas replaces Topolanek as ODS election leader". ČeskéNoviny.cz. ČTK. 25 March 2010. Retrieved 26 March 2010. 
  25. ^ "Czech Vote Leaves Unclear Who Will Form Next Govt". National Public Radio. 30 May 2010. Retrieved 29 May 2010. [dead link]
  26. ^ Carney, Sean (29 May 2010). "Czech Election May Produce Center-Right Coalition, Sidelines Communists". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 29 May 2010. 
  27. ^ Laca, Peter; Chamonikolas, Krystof (29 May 2010). "Czech Voters Choose Spending Cuts Amid European Debt Crisis". Bloomberg. Retrieved 29 May 2010. 
  28. ^ a b Laca, Peter (29 May 2010). "Early Czech Votes Show Anti-Deficit Cabinet Possible (Update1)". Bloomberg. Retrieved 29 May 2010. 
  29. ^ Total voting results, Czech Statistical Office. Retrieved 29 May 2010.
  30. ^ Janicek, Karel (29 May 2010). "Czech vote leaves unclear who will form next govt". Associated Press. Retrieved 29 May 2010. 
  31. ^ Flemr, Jan (30 May 2010). "Small Czech parties trigger political 'earthquake'". AFP. Retrieved 30 May 2010. 
  32. ^ a b "Czech centre-right coalition likely". Al-Jazeera. 30 May 2010. Retrieved 30 May 2010. 
  33. ^ "Czech SocDem leader quits after poor election result". Reuters. 29 May 2010. Retrieved 29 May 2010. 
  34. ^ a b c "Czech Republic voters move to right in general election". BBC News. 30 May 2010. Retrieved 31 May 2010. 
  35. ^ "Stage set for Czech coalition government". CNN. 30 May 2010. Retrieved 30 May 2010. 
  36. ^ "Czech SocDem leader sees right-wing coalition". Reuters. 29 May 2010. Retrieved 29 May 2010. 
  37. ^ "Czechs Choose Budget Cuts Amid European Debt Crisis (Update1)". Bloomberg. 30 May 2010. Retrieved 30 May 2010. 
  38. ^ "ODS navrhuje na Premiéra Nečase kongres svolá za tři týdny (in Czech)". Novinky.cz. 30 May 2010. Retrieved 31 May 2010. 
  39. ^ Kopecký, Josef (28 June 2010). "Klaus jmenoval Nečase premiérem. Země má teď dočasně hned dva". iDnes (in Czech). Retrieved 28 June 2010. 

External links[edit]