Legislative elections in the Czech Republic (2021)

Article

October 17, 2021

Parliamentary elections in the Czech Republic 2021 - The 8th elections of deputies to the lower house of the Czech Parliament were held on October 8-9, 2021.

Election Date

The Czech Constitution states that elections to the Chamber of Deputies must be held every four years. Voting days in the Czech Republic are Friday and Saturday, but voters can submit their ballots any day. The exact date of the elections is set by the President, who is obliged to announce it no later than 90 days before the day of the elections. On December 28, 2020, President Milos Zeman announced 8 and 9 October 2021 as election days.

Electoral system

Before the decision of the Constitutional Court

The 200 members of the Chamber of Deputies are elected in 14 multi-member constituencies (each of which typically runs from 5 to 25 members), by proportional representation on an open list, in which they can give preferential votes to four candidates from the selected list. Seats are allocated using the D'Hondt method, with an electoral threshold of 5% for parties, 10% for bipartisan coalitions, 15% for three-party coalitions, and 20% for coalitions of four or more parties. Candidates who receive more than 5% of the preferential votes are promoted to the top of their list, and in cases where more than one candidate receives more than 5% of the preferential votes, they are evaluated in the order in which they received votes.

After the decision of the Constitutional Court

In response to the demands of a group of Czech senators, on February 3, 2021, the Czech Constitutional Court, in its decision, canceled part of the election law, due to the fact that "the principles of equality and suffrage, as well as the chances of parties as participants in parliamentary elections, are violated." ... According to the decision of the Constitutional Court, the electoral pre-election coalitions of parties and movements will need 5% of the votes to enter the Chamber of Deputies. The division of the Czech Republic into 14 electoral districts may remain, but the recalculation of mandates in combination with other elements of the electoral system, in the judges' opinion, is discriminatory, since the voters of small parties should have the same opportunity to influence the overall outcome of the elections as the electorate.

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