Thursday , July 7 2022

I do not need to cancel the president's direct elections. The role of the chancell will limit disputes, says the expert


Returning to indirect elections will not prevent the president trying to double the constitution in his favor, constitutional lawyers think of a proposal by President ODS, Petr Fiala, to re-elect the head of State in parliament. However, the experts with whom has spoken to welcome them, but they think it would be convenient to speak of a more extensive change to the Constitution. The result could be the introduction of a German-like chancery system.

When the Senate asked for expert opinions in early 2012 to introduce a direct presidential election, the recommendation was clear. Of the sixteen experts, only three expressed a positive opinion. But, finally, the politicians did not give their opinion and approved the constitutional amendment. Now President ODS, Petr Fiala, suggests that the Czech Republic return to the fact that the head of the State is elected by the parliament.

Constitutional lawyer Marek Antoš, whose Senate asked for seven years ago, would welcome this change. According to him, the direct election of the president does not belong to the parliamentary form of government;

"Of course, playing with the quadruple of the constitution, trying to take a step forward, and if we find it is not going, we will return again, undoubtedly, it is not optimal. The constitution should be as stable as possible. with insistence on something that is not correct, "says Antos.

According to him, direct election increases the risk that the president tends to act in violation of the constitution. In fact, the Chief of State thus chosen can feel stronger than it should be, thanks to the large number of votes. This is also related to the campaign that precedes the presidential elections. In it, candidates are forced to talk about things that can not influence their role.

"If someone answered that he had an opinion, but that he respected the government's opinion, he would immediately see himself as a weak candidate and would reduce his chances of being elected," said Antos. In addition, he adds that the direct elections increase the chances of being elected for more determined candidates, while the most moderate politicians who are the result of agreements and commitments from political parties can write to Parliament.

Klaus and Havel, indirectly elected, had disputes with the government

Antoš, along with another constitutional lawyer, Jan Kudrna, who also did not recommend the introduction of direct presidential elections before the Senate, requests that a possible change be discussed in a wider context.

Both point out that a possible return to the indirect election is not self-sustaining. Even a president elected by parliament could enter into conflict with the government or other institutions to interpret their powers. After all, the predecessors of Zeman, Vaclav Havel and Vaclav Klaus took the opportunity to expand their field of activity as defined by the Constitution.

"The introduction of an indirect option could, nevertheless, provide a partial solution. But I think we should think if this constitutional system suits us. If it was not the solution, the German model could be the chancellor's system." Therefore, to strengthen the government and weaken the president, "urges Kudrna. Antoš also offers the German model as a pattern to follow. The president only plays a ceremonial role.

Fiala does not have the support of other parts

ODS Head, Petr Fiala, who has come to the idea of ​​returning to indirect elections, does not have a broader amendment. "Of course, we also have to consider whether to refine and modify some parts of the Constitution, which allow for a different interpretation. I do not get into the discussion, but in general I am reluctant to change the constitution. My proposal is only a return to your state original, "explained Akliálně.cz.

The proposal to return to the indirect elections of Fiala was pronounced at a time when President Miloš Zeman refused to dismiss Antonín Staněk from the position of Minister of Culture, although he was proposed by Prime Minister Andrej Babiš. According to experts in constitutional law, it violates the constitution. This crime, along with other constituent actions against the president, was written by a group of senators. The upper house of the parliament could treat it in the second fortnight of July.

Fiala does not hide the fact that he wants to cancel the direct presidential elections because of the behavior of President Zeman. However, the other parties do not support the president of the ODS for this reason. According to them, it is not appropriate to change the constitution just because of the function of Zeman.

"The introduction of a direct election was one of the worst changes in the constitution after 1989. It was not a step in the right direction, because it was a fluctuation of the division of power in our country. On the other hand, responding to the fact that the current president does not respect the constitution, it does not seem reasonable and appropriate to me ". The president of KDU-ČSL, Marek Výborný, told Aktuálně.cz.

Only the Communists did not support the direct elections to the House

The proposal is also rejected by the Communists, which in 2011 as the only party of the House of Representatives did not support the introduction of direct elections. The 26 members abstained. Other parties of the CSSD, ODS, TOP 09 and mayors and public affairs voted in favor of other people. "We have called attention to various traps we are facing today. On the other hand, I am not a fan of unilateral intentional and intentional modifications," said Stanislav Grospic, vice president of KSCM.

However, Fiala refuses to raise this proposal solely because of the personality of Miloš Zeman. According to him, the direct choice simply did not work and, moreover, is an element that does not fit into the parliamentary system. However, he acknowledges that he wants to highlight other areas of the election campaign. "It is one of the issues that we want to contribute to the public debate. We will certainly be more concerned about the fight against bureaucracy, pension reform or the improvement of the business environment in the election campaign," said Fiala.

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