published: 21.03.2013, 13:36 | updated: 21.03.2013 18:30:27
Prague - Czech President Milos Zeman recommended in the Senate today that the number of preferential votes in general elections should be lowered from 5 to 3 percent and that of election regions raised from the current 14 because this would force the candidates to exert more effort to succeed.
Zeman also promoted his idea enabling voters to choose candidates across parties´ lists of candidates in the Chamber of Deputies elections.
He said he expects mainly the Chamber of Deputies to "dispute his proposal of a change to the voting system."
Heads of the two biggest lower house groups, Marek Benda (Civic Democrats, ODS) and Jeronym Tejc (Social Democrats, CSSD), both said they believe that changes of the voting system cannot be made before the next general election due in mid-2014 as there is not enough time.
Lower house chairwoman Miroslava Nemcova (ODS) shared their view.
However, Benda and Tejc said a debate on the proposed changes to the voting system might be held.
Zeman said he would like people to get more involved in political developments and to be able to choose personalities, not veteran politicians not only in the Senate, but also general elections.
Zeman said the lowering of the preferential votes percentage to 3 percent would improve the election system.
He, however, dismissed the complete elimination of the barrier because only people from large towns would be chosen while the number of representatives of small municipalities would drop to zero.
When proposing the raising of the number of election regions, Zeman said people now make a choice from 50 candidates on 20 lists of candidates, which practically means they are choosing from a thousand of anonymous candidates whom they never saw and about whom they know nothing.
The raising of the number of regions would decrease the number of candidates in a region and enable them to tour their regions and present themselves and their programmes to the voters.
At a press conference after his visit to the Senate Zeman recalled the draft amendment to the election law that the Constitutional Court dismissed years ago. It counted with 35 election regions.
Benda said Zeman´s proposals do not form a well-considered voting system. He said Zeman seemed to recommend to move from the proportional representation towards a majority rule. He backed the idea of more election regions, for example of 40 regions with five candidates being elected in each of them.
Tejc said the voting system might become incomprehensible if a voter were allowed to choose candidates from several parties.
He said the ideas of lowering the limit of preferential votes and of increasing the number election regions seemed possible to him.
Petr Gazdik, head of the TOP 09 lower house group, said he did not oppose a discussion on the voting system but that individual changes cannot be taken out of the whole context of the constitution.
Pavel Kovacik, head of the Communist (KSCM) lower house group, said he was against the proposals that Zeman presented.
Kovacik said the proportional representation should be maintained. To introduce majority rule elements means to take steps away from democracy, he said.
The biggest parties would probably profit from possible moves towards a majority rule voting system would.
The CSSD, then headed by Zeman, and the ODS pushed through a system producing more stable governments already in 2000, but president Vaclav Havel opposed it. The Constitutional Court (US) supported Havel´s complaint and cancelled most of the new changes to the voting system in 2001.
20.06.2013 | 07:30
19.06.2013 | 18:07
19.06.2013 | 07:24
Czech Rail, CEZ heads figure in scandal toppling PM Necas - press
18.06.2013 | 12:51
TOP 09, CSSD agree on Prague govt, Hudecek to be mayor
18.06.2013 | 10:51
Czech press survey - June 18
18.06.2013 | 07:18