2021 Czech legislative election


The 2021 Czech legislative election will be held on 8 and 9 October 2021. All 200 members of the Chamber of Deputies will be elected and the leader of the resulting government will become the Prime Minister.

2021 Czech legislative election

 2017 8–9 October 2021

All 200 seats in the Chamber of Deputies
101 seats needed for a majority
Opinion polls
  First party Second party Third party
 
Leader Andrej Babiš Petr Fiala Ivan Bartoš
Party ANO ODS Pirates
Alliance SPOLU Pirates and Mayors
Leader since 1 August 2012 18 January 2014 2 April 2016
Leader's seat Central Bohemia South Moravia Ústí nad Labem
Last election 78 seats, 29.6% 42 seats, 22.4% 28 seats, 16.0%

  Fourth party Fifth party Sixth party
 
Leader Tomio Okamura Vojtěch Filip Jan Hamáček
Party SPD KSČM ČSSD
Leader since 5 May 2015 1 October 2005 18 February 2018
Leader's seat Central Bohemia South Bohemia Central Bohemia
Last election 22 seats, 10.6% 15 seats, 7.8% 15 seats, 7.3%


Prime Minister before election

Andrej Babiš
ANO

Elected Prime Minister

TBD

Since the 2017 election, the Czech Republic has been led by a minority government consisting of ANO 2011, led by Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, and the Social Democratic Party (ČSSD), led by Interior Minister Jan Hamáček, with support from the Communist Party. The largest opposition party is the Civic Democratic Party (ODS) followed by the Czech Pirate Party. Babiš is running for re-election. Opposition parliamentary parties formed two electoral alliances before the election: SPOLU (led by ODS), and Pirates and Mayors (led by the Pirate Party).

Electoral system


During previous elections the 200 members of the Chamber of Deputies were elected from 14 multi-member constituencies by open list proportional representation with an electoral threshold of 5%. The threshold was raised to 10% for two-party alliances, 15% for three-party alliances and 20% for alliances of four or more parties. Seats were allocated using the D'Hondt method. Voters can give preference votes to up to four candidates on a list. Candidates who receive preferential votes from more than 5% of voters are moved to the top of their list; in cases where more than one candidate receives over 5% of the preferential votes, they are ranked in order of votes received.[1]

It was expected that 2021 election would take place using the same electoral system, but on 2 February 2021 the Constitutional Court ruled on a complaint submitted by a group of Senators from Mayors and Independents, KDU-ČSL and TOP 09, that the electoral system was unproportional and favoured larger parties. The complaint focused on the D'Hondt method method, the division of the country into 14 constituencies and the increased electoral threshold for alliances.[2] The Constitutional Court's decision, published on 3 February 2021, set the threshold for alliances at 5% and removed some provisions relating to seat allocation. New provisions must be put into law before the election.[3]

Background


According to the Constitution of the Czech Republic, an election to the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of the Parliament, must be held every four years. The Government is answerable to the Chamber of Deputies and remains in power only with the confidence of the majority of members of parliament. Article 19(1) of the Constitution states that any citizen of the Czech Republic who has right to vote and is 21 years old is eligible to serve as an MP.

ANO 2011 emerged as the largest party in the 2017 legislative election and formed a minority government, which then lost a vote of confidence on 16 January 2018. The party then formed a coalition government with the Social Democrats, supported by the Communist Party. Andrej Babiš became the new Prime Minister.

The Civic Democratic Party (ODS) emerged as the second largest party and main opposition party, narrowly ahead of the Pirate Party.[4]

2018 Senate and municipal elections

In 2018, voters elected 27 of 81 Senators and approximately 61,900 members of local councils. ODS won the Senate election with 10 Senators elected.[5] ANO 2011 won the municipal elections in most regional cities, with ODS finishing first in Prague and STAN in Liberec.[6] ČSSD and KSČM lost over half of their votes and seats in municipal councils.

2019 European Parliament election

In May 2019, voters elected 21 members of European Parliament. ANO 2011 came first, with ODS and the Pirate Party close behind in number of seats. ČSSD failed to achieve more than 5 percent of votes in national elections for the first time since the mid-1990s.

2020 Senate and regional elections

In October 2020, voters elected 675 members of regional assemblies in 13 regions of the nation (except Prague) which then formed regional governments. ANO 2011 won the election with 21.8% of votes, but opposition parties, especially the Pirate Party, made gains, while allies of ANO were heavily defeated.[7][8][9] The governing parties were also heavily defeated in the Senate elections, which were won by Mayors and Independents ahead of ODS.[10]

Coalitions of political parties

Following these elections, opposition parties began negotiations about potential electoral alliances. It was speculated that two electoral blocs would be formed: a conservative bloc led by ODS, which would also include KDU-ČSL and TOP 09, with Petr Fiala as leader, and a liberal bloc composed of the Pirate Party and Mayors and Independents, with Ivan Bartoš as the leader.[11]

The ODS leadership agreed to form an alliance on 25 October 2020, with a memorandum to be signed two days later.[12] On 27 October 2020, Fiala, Marian Jurečka, and Markéta Adamová announced that ODS, KDU-ČSL, and TOP 09 would form an electoral alliance for the next legislative election, with ODS leader Fiala as the alliance's candidate for Prime Minister.[13] On 11 November 2020, the parties agreed that ODS would nominate the leaders of the election lists in nine regions, KDU-ČSL in three regions, and TOP 09 in two regions.[14] The name of the alliance was announced as SPOLU (meaning "together").[15] Petr Fiala was confirmed as the alliance's candidate for Prime Minister on 16 December 2020.[16]

The leadership of Mayors and Independents agreed to start negotiations on 8 October 2020.[17] The Pirates are required to ratify any alliance in an members' referendum. In a poll on 20 October 2020, 51% of Pirate Party members were opposed to the alliance while 43% supported it. The referendum to starting negotiations for an alliance was originally scheduled for 13 to 16 November 2020,[18] but was rescheduled for 20 to 23 November 2020.[19] Among Pirate Party members, 695 out of 858 voted in favour of negotiations, with a turnout of 80%.[20] Ivan Bartoš was nominated to be the Pirate Party's election leader on 25 November 2020,[21] and was confirmed on 2 December 2020. The Pirates also offered the Green Party the possibility to join its electoral list.[22] Ivan Bartoš was confirmed as the alliance's electoral leader on 14 December 2020.[23] Pirate Party members voted to approve the alliance on 13 January 2021.[24]

On 28 December 2020, Czech President Miloš Zeman announced that 8 and 9 October 2021 will be the dates of the election.[25]

The Czech Social Democratic Party started to negotiate the formation of a third electoral bloc in January 2021, negotiating with the Green Party and some regional parties about the formation of a left-wing electoral alliance.[26] The Green Party stated as a condition for joining an alliance that the parties would not form a government coalition with ANO 2011 after the election.[27]

In early 2021, Tricolour Citizens' Movement, Svobodní, the Freeholder Party of the Czech Republic and other minor parties began negotiations about a potential right-wing alliance.[28] On 5 March 2021, these three parties confirmed the formation of a coalition, stating that, depending on the new electoral law, they would run either in a formal electoral alliance or as a single party.[29] The Independence Party of the Czech Republic declared support for this coalition soon after.[30] On 23 March 2021, Tricolour leader Václav Klaus Jr. resigned from all political functions for personal reasons.[31] Zuzana Majerová Zahradníková became acting leader of the party.[32]

On 23 March 2021, a group of minor parties including the Civic Democratic Alliance, Agrarian Democratic Party, Order of Nation and Democratic Green Party formed an alliance called the Alliance for Future, with Pavel Sehnal as leader.[33]

Parties


The table below lists parties represented in the Chamber of Deputies after the 2017 parliamentary election.

Name Ideology Leader 2017 result
Votes (%) Seats
ANO Populism
Big tent
Andrej Babiš 29.6%
78 / 200
ODS Liberal conservatism
Euroscepticism
Petr Fiala 11.3%
25 / 200
Pirates Pirate politics
Liberalism
Ivan Bartoš 10.8%
22 / 200
SPD Right-wing populism
Anti-immigration
Tomio Okamura 10.6%
22 / 200
KSČM Communism
Marxism
Vojtěch Filip 7.8%
15 / 200
ČSSD Social democracy
Pro-Europeanism
Jan Hamáček 7.3%
15 / 200
KDU-ČSL Christian democracy
Social conservatism
Marian Jurečka 5.8%
10 / 200
TOP 09 Liberal conservatism
Liberalism
Markéta Adamová 5.3%
7 / 200
STAN Localism
Liberalism
Vít Rakušan 5.2%
6 / 200

Current composition


Party Seats
ANO 201178
Civic Democratic Party23
Czech Pirate Party22
Freedom and Direct Democracy19
Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia15
Czech Social Democratic Party14
KDU–ČSL10
TOP 097
Mayors and Independents6
Unified3
Tricolour Citizens' Movement3

Campaign


Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia

The Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia (KSČM) launched its campaign on 4 June 2021. Leader Vojtěch Filip said that a vote for KSČM means certainty for the future. KSČM named its five priorities as: help for children in need; better conditions for life and safety; the right to a dignified life and better environment; a higher minimum wage; and shorter working periods. Filip also stated his party's wish to leave NATO and establish better relationships with China and Russia.[34]

People FOR

The People FOR political movement, led by political activist Mikuláš Minář, was launched on 3 December 2020, and started gathering the 500,000 signatures required for participation in the elections. Minář said that the movement does not want to be another 5% party.[35] On 24 March 2021, Minář announced the end of the movement due to low interest from voters, having collected only 39,251 signatures.[36]

Pirates and STAN

The Czech Pirate Party and Mayors and Independents (STAN) formed a liberal electoral alliance led by Ivan Bartoš, presenting their cooperation agreement in December 2020. Priorities in the agreement included lower taxes, better availability of health care in the regions, protection of the climate, and transparent governance. The parties also agreed to support adoption of the Euro.[37] Bartoš said on 11 January that the alliance's priorities during the campaign would include reform of the debt collection system, digitalisation, environmental issues, and education.[38]

Pirates and Mayors launched their campaign on 18 May 2021, with the slogan "Let's give the country back its future" (Czech: Vraťme zemi budoucnost). Bartoš and Rakušan promised to unite society and stop the waste of public funds. The alliance also wants to regulate debt collection, raise taxes on commercial buildings, and begin preparations to adopt the Euro. They also said they would amend the constitution.[how?][39] A major focus of the alliance's platform is digitalisation of the country.[40]

Přísaha

Robert Šlachta formed an anti-corruption party, Přísaha, before the election. He launched the campaign at a meeting on 28 January 2021. Šlachta answered questions submitted online. He stated that he did not believe it was the right time to adopt the Euro and was opposed to migrant quotas.[41]

SPOLU

Three conservative parties, the Civic Democratic Party, KDU-ČSL and TOP 09, formed an electoral alliance called SPOLU ("together"). Led by Petr Fiala, the alliance launched its campaign on 9 December 2020, promising to reform tax, the social and pension system, and healthcare. Its proposals included a minimum pension, a simplification of social benefits, support for education, and better use of European Union funds, as well as a focus on climate change. It opposes "Czexit" and supports membership of NATO. Fiala said that he wants to create a functional and more comprehensible state instead of helplessness and false politics. TOP 09 leader Markéta Adamová described the alliance as a centre-right liberal conservative political force that has traditions at its heart but a modern view of the world.[42]

SPOLU launched its campaign on 19 May 2021 in Brno.[43] The campaign's slogan is "We will bring the Czech Republic together". Fiala argued that the parties were right to form the alliance as the parties are linked by common values, and said he is looking forward to personal campaigning, expressing hopes that the pandemic situation would improve. Fiala said that SPOLU wants an "economically capable and educated Czechia".[44][43]

SPOLU planned to use Dominik Feri as the face of an Instagram campaign targeting young voters entitled "I have a voice". However, in May 2021 Feri resigned from his political posts after being accused of sexual assault and rape by eight women, and the campaign was withdrawn.[45][46]

Chcípl PES

An initiative called Chcípl PES (The dog died) began organising anti-lockdown demonstrations in early 2021. The group's name refers to the government's Anti-Epidemic System, known as PES. The chairman of Chcípl PES, Jiří Janeček, announced on 1 February 2021 that it would participate in the elections on a platform opposing lockdowns and supporting businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.[47]

Opinion polls


References


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