Direct Election of the President and Its Constitutional and Political Consequences

WINTR, Jan, ANTOŠ, Marek a KYSELA, Jan: Direct election of the president and its constitutional and political consequences. Acta Politologica, 2016, vol. 8. no. 2, pp. 145–163.

14 Pages Posted: 5 Jan 2018

See all articles by Jan Wintr

Jan Wintr

Independent

Marek Antos

Charles University in Prague - Faculty of Law

Jan Kysela

Charles University in Prague - Faculty of Law

Date Written: September 1, 2016

Abstract

The introduction of direct presidential elections in the Czech Republic was motivated mainly by the bad experience associated with the last indirect election in 2008 and efforts to respond to the long-standing desire of the Czech public for election of the president by popular vote. The intention of the constitution-maker was not a transition to a semi-presidential system, but rather to maintain the existing parliamentary form of government. The key factor for the constitutional position of the president remains the provisions of the Constitution stating that the president is not accountable for the discharge of his office and that the government is accountable for the majority of the head of state’s decisions. Many specific restrictions of the presidency follow from constitutional conventions created over the course of the last 20 years of the independent existence of the Czech Republic and partially relate to rules existing in other parliamentary systems. President Miloš Zeman, vested with stronger legitimacy as a result of direct election, in some cases attempted to change these constitutional conventions and to interpret his powers in an expansive manner.

Keywords: Direct election, head of state, constitutional conventions, parliamentary system, semi-presidentialism

Suggested Citation

Wintr, Jan and Antos, Marek and Kysela, Jan, Direct Election of the President and Its Constitutional and Political Consequences (September 1, 2016). WINTR, Jan, ANTOŠ, Marek a KYSELA, Jan: Direct election of the president and its constitutional and political consequences. Acta Politologica, 2016, vol. 8. no. 2, pp. 145–163., Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3095261

Jan Wintr

Independent ( email )

Marek Antos (Contact Author)

Charles University in Prague - Faculty of Law ( email )

Nam. Curieovych 7
Praha, 11640
Czech Republic

Jan Kysela

Charles University in Prague - Faculty of Law ( email )

Nam. Curieovych 7
Praha, 11640
Czech Republic

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