11 January 2013

History Being Made in Czech Republic

Today is a momentous and important day in the history of the Czech Republic. Today, for the first time, the citizens of this former Soviet Republic will have a direct vote for their President. The voting will actually take place over two days (today and tomorrow), and will likely result in a run-off between the top two candidates in two weeks.

Since the new constitution was passed in 1992, presidents have been appointed by the legislature, which surprisingly gave up that power, passing a law handing that authority over to the general populace. Interestingly, the Communist Party (KSČM) tried to block the new law.
According to the implementation laws that went into effect August, 2012,  any citizen over 18 may be nominated for candidacy upon the submission of:

- 50,000 citizen signatures

-20 signatures from the Chamber of Deputies

-10 signatures from the Senate
Many candidates have surfaced, from an actress to a lawyer covered in tattoos (including his face and head) to several current members of the government. As I write this, nine candidates have been ruled eligible, of the twenty who took out nomination papers. I'm in no position to speculate on outcomes, but I do suspect that whoever emerges triumphant in this election will change the stance of the Czech Republic with regard to Europe. From my viewpoint this is too bad. Europe needs some resistors to aid The UK in its stand to hold on to some of its sovereignty.

Current President Vaclav Klaus (who is term-limited) has been, at best, standoffish, with the European Union. Zapaday, a news calendar has stated it this way:
Among the leading candidates to replace euroskeptic Klaus are former prime ministers Milos Zeman and Jan Fischer, who are both much more inclined towards closer cooperation with the EU than their predecessor.
So, congratulations to the entire Czech Republic on this milestone. I hope that you come out to vote.

1 comment:

  1. UPDATE:
    Candidates Zeman and Schwarzenberg advance in Presidential election. Both candidates favor closer ties to the European Union. Story here: http://praguemonitor.com/2013/01/14/zeman-schwarzenberg-bring-čr-closer-eu-analysts-say.