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
Leadership
Jaroslav Kubera, ODS
Since 14 November 2018
1st Vice-President
Jiří Růžička, STAN
Since 14 November 2018
Vice-President
Milan Štěch, ČSSD
Since 14 November 2018
Vice-President
Miluše Horská, KDU-ČSL
Since 14 November 2018
Vice-President
Jan Horník, STAN
Since 14 November 2018
Vice-President
Jiří Oberfalzer, ODS
Since 14 November 2018
Structure
Seats81
Czech Republic Senate - October 2018.svg
Political groups
Elections
Two-round system
Last election
October 2018
Next election
October 2020
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
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the Czech Republic
Czech Republic bar 1.svg
Political parties
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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 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 political 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, especially regarding constitution and electoral law. 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. However, the likely most prominent critic of Czech Senate, prime minister Andrej Babiš, has expressed his plan to change the electoral into Chamber of Deputies into First-past-the-post voting, something that cannot be done without consent of the Senate, plus the Czech constitution prohibits such system for lower chamber.

Political parties[edit]

Results of the Czech Senate election, 2018

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[n 1] First round Second round Seats
Votes % Runners-up Votes % Seats Won Not up Total +/–
Civic Democratic Party 163,630 15.02 11 116,376 27.86 10 10 6 16 +7
ANO 2011 147,477 13.54 10 57,500 13.75 1 1 6 7 0
Czech Social Democratic Party 100,478 9.22 5 33,887 8.10 1 1 12 13 -12
Christian and Democratic Union – Czechoslovak People's Party 99,383 9.12 5 34,833 8.33 1 2 14 16 +2
Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia 80,371 7.38 1 3,578 0.86 0 0 0 0 -1
Mayors and Independents 79,025 7.25 4 47,317 11.31 4 5 5 10 +5
Freedom and Direct Democracy 70,110 6.44 0 0 0 0 0
Czech Pirate Party 66,281 6.08 3 17,528 4.20 1 1 0 1 0
TOP 09 41,980 3.85 2 22,580 5.40 1 1 2 3 +1
Senator 21 33,860 3.11 3 24,250 5.80 1 1 5 6
Marek Hilšer for Senate 15,045 1.38 1 11,903 2.85 1 1 0 1 +1
Freeholder Party of the Czech Republic 12,265 1.13 1 7,176 1.72 0 0 1 1 0
For Health 11,180 1.03 0 0 0 0
Realists 8,407 0.77 0 0 0 0
Party of Common Sense 7,186 0.66 0 0 0 0
Ostravak 6,178 0.57 0 4,906 1.17 1 1 0 1
Movement for Prague 11 4,980 0.46 0 0 1 1
New Future for Liberec Region 4,744 0.44 0 0 0 0
SNK European Democrats 4,446 0.41 0 0 0 0
Czech National Social Party 4,438 0.41 0 0 0 0
Pévéčko 3,425 0.31 0 0 0 0
Czech Sovereignty 3,300 0.30 0 0 0 0
Party of Civic Rights 3,286 0.30 0 0 0 0
Party of Free Citizens 2,884 0.26 0 0 0 0
Moravian Country Movement 2,641 0.24 0 0 0 0
Ordinary Citizens 2,010 0.18 0 0 0 0
Green Party 1,818 0.17 0 0 1 1 -1
Moravian and Silesian Pirate Party 1,789 0.16 0 0 0 0
Moravané 1,484 0.14 0 0 0 0
Koruna Česká 1,443 0.13 0 0 0 0
Patriots of the Czech Republic 1,369 0.13 0 0 0 0
NE-VOLIM 1,346 0.12 0 0 0 0
Order of Nation 1,172 0.11 0 0 0 0
INDEPENDENTS 1,061 0.10 0 0 0 0
Club of Committed Non-Party Members 1,001 0.09 0 0 0 0
Alternative for Czechia 2017 794 0.07 0 0 0 0
Party of State of Direct Democracy 499 0.05 0 0 0 0
Citizens of the Czech Republic 491 0.05 0 0 0 0
Alliance of National Forces 390 0.04 0 0 0 0
Enough is Enough 258 0.02 0 0 0 0
Roma Democratic Party 216 0.02 0 0 0 0
Nation Together 41 0.00 0 0 0 0
Independents 95,507 8.76 4 35,938 8.59 3 3 3 6 +4
Invalid/blank votes 46,573 2,151
Total 1,136,262 100 50 419,923 100 24 27 54 81 0
Registered voters/turnout 2,743,745 41.41 2,547,488 16.48
Source: VOLBY.CZ


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]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Name of "nominating party" (navrhující strana).

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)

External links[edit]

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