published: 14.10.2013, 13:54 | updated: 14.10.2013 14:08:15
Prague - The Czech conservative TOP 09 party wants to more precisely define the presidential powers through amending the constitution, former MP Stanislav Polcak said today, adding that the new rules should already apply to current president Milos Zeman whose five-year term expires in 2018, .
Polcak, a member of the allied Mayors and Independents (STAN), is running in the October 25-26 early general election in Prague.
He said the constitution should be amended so that the second attempt to appoint a prime minister should go to the Chamber of Deputies´ head while the president would have the first and third attempts. Now the president has the first two attempts.
Zeman, who assumed the post in March, aroused criticism of politicians some of whom say he exceeds constitutional traditions with his behaviour.
Zeman, for instance, quarrelled with then foreign minister Karel Schwarzenberg (TOP 09) over the appointing of ambassadors.
Zeman was also opposed to the appointing of academic Martin C.Putna professor. Putna eventually took over the decree from the education minister.
In summer Zeman was criticised for having named Jiri Rusnok prime minister after the fall of Petr Necas´s (Civic Democrats, ODS) government, though the Chamber of Deputies was opposed to the caretaker team.
"We have decided to submit for discussion a draft defining more precisely the presidential powers in order to eliminate unclear points from our legal order," Schwarzenberg, Zeman´s opponent, said today.
Schwarzenberg said Zeman has made use of a loophole in the constitution to slightly extend his powers.
Zeman, winner of the first direct election, justifies some of his steps saying his powers are bigger because he was elected by people, not by parliament.
Polcak said the prepared bill is to reflect in the constitution the fact that the government is accountable to the Chamber of Deputies and that it ensues from it.
TOP 09 also wants the president to be obliged to appoint the government members within 15 days of receipt of the prime minister´s proposal. The same deadline would also be applicable in dismissing ministers.
The current constitution does not contain these deadlines.
TOP 09 also wants members of the Czech National Bank´s banking council to be approved besides the president also by the Senate.
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