Czechoslovak parliamentary election, 1946

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Czechoslovak parliamentary election, 1946
Czechoslovakia
← 1935 26 May 1946 (1946-05-26) 1948 →

All 300 seats to the Constituent National Assembly
150 seats needed for a majority
Turnout 93.9%
  First party Second party Third party
  Bundesarchiv Bild 183-R90009, Budapest, II. Weltfestspiele, Festumzug, tschechische Delegation (cropped KG).jpg Petr Zenkl - barva.jpg Jan Šrámek.jpg
Leader Klement Gottwald Petr Zenkl Jan Šrámek
Party KSČ ČSNS ČSL
Seats after 93 55 46
Seat change Increase 63 Increase 27 Increase 24
Popular vote 2,205,697 1,298,980 1,111,009
Percentage 31.2% 18.4% 15.7%

  Fourth party Fifth party Sixth party
  Jozef Lettrich.jpg Zdeněk Fierlinger 1932.jpg
Leader Jozef Lettrich Zdeněk Fierlinger Štefan Bašťovanský
Party DS ČSSD KSS
Seats after 43 37 21
Seat change Increase 43 Increase 37 Increase 21
Popular vote 999,622 855,538 489,596
Percentage 14.1% 12.1% 6.9%

  Seventh party Eighth party
  Vavro Šrobár.JPG
Leader Vavro Šrobár Ivan Frlička
Party SS SP
Seats after 3 2
Seat change Increase 3 Increase 2
Popular vote 60,195 50,079
Percentage 0.9% 0.7%

Prime Minister before election

Zdeněk Fierlinger
ČSSD

Elected Prime Minister

Klement Gottwald
KSČ

Parliamentary elections were held in Czechoslovakia on 26 May 1946.[1] The Communist Party of Czechoslovakia emerged as the largest party, winning 114 of the 300 seats (93 for the main party and 21 for its Slovak branch) with 38% of the vote (31 percent for the main party and 6.9 percent for the Slovak branch). This was the best performance for a Czechoslovak party up to that time; previously no Czechoslovak party had ever won more than 25 percent of the vote. Voter turnout was 93.9%.[2] As it turned out, this was one of only two even partially free elections held in what would become the Eastern bloc, the other having been held in Hungary a year earlier.[3] It would be the last free election held in Czechoslovakia until 1990.[4]

Background[edit]

After World War II a 300-member interim National Assembly was formed and met for the first time on 28 October 1945.[5] The Assembly created a new electoral system with the country divided into 28 multi-member constituencies.[6] 150 members were elected from Bohemia, 81 from Moravia and Silesia and 69 from Slovakia. The voting age was lowered to 18, but only Czechs, Slovaks and other Slavs could register to vote.[5]

Results[edit]

Party Votes % Seats +/–
Communist Party of Czechoslovakia 2,205,697 31.2 93 +63
Czechoslovak National Socialist Party 1,298,980 18.4 55 +27
Czechoslovak People's Party 1,111,009 15.7 46 +24
Democratic Party 999,622 14.1 43 New
Czechoslovak Social Democracy 855,538 12.1 37 New
Communist Party of Slovakia 489,596 6.9 21 New
Freedom Party 60,195 0.9 3 New
Labour Party 50,079 0.7 2 New
Invalid/blank votes 59,427
Total 7,130,143 100 300 0
Source: Nohlen & Stöver

Aftermath[edit]

Following the elections, Communist leader Klement Gottwald formed a coalition government. However, the Communists gradually tightened their grip on the country. After the non-Communist members resigned from the Cabinet on 25 February 1948, the Communists seized full control of the country.[7][8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Nohlen, D & Stöver, P (2010) Elections in Europe: A data handbook, p471 ISBN 978-3-8329-5609-7
  2. ^ Nohlen & Stöver, p472
  3. ^ Andorka, Rudolf et al. A Society Transformed, p.8. Central European University Press (1999), ISBN 963-9116-49-1
  4. ^ Kamm, Henry. Now, the Czech Reality; Political 'Amateurs,' After Free Elections, Turn to Problems Left by the Communists. The New York Times, 1990-06-11.
  5. ^ a b Nohlen & Stöver, p464
  6. ^ "Zákon č. 67/1946 sb. o volbě ústavodárného Národního shromáždění" (in Czech). Zakonyprolidi.cz. 18 April 1946. Retrieved 19 August 2017. 
  7. ^ Nohlen & Stöver, p457
  8. ^ Stupka, Jiří (2012). "Parlamentní volby v roce 1946 – odraz na stránkách ústředních tiskových orgánů politických stran" (PDF) (in Czech). Masaryk University. Retrieved 19 August 2017.