Early Czech elections called off

Via the Prague Post:

Early parliamentary elections, already once delayed, will now not take place at all.

Any further legislative action to push for November elections was doomed to failure in the form of another challenge before the Constitutional Court, say leaders from political parties who reversed course Sept. 15 and declined to support dissolving the Chamber of Deputies and calling new elections. […]

The result is that the technocratic government of Prime Minister Jan Fischer – appointed as a caretaker in May – would most likely be left governing until June of next year, when the current Chamber of Deputies’ mandate runs out and regular elections are already scheduled.

The dominoes fell starting with the Social Democrats (SSD) just hours before debate was to begin Sept. 15 in the Chamber of Deputies; the Green Party (DZ) and the Communists (KSM) followed suit. Until the announcement, the widespread consensus was that the lower house would be dissolved and that authorities would push forward with a plan for elections in November.

Already, elections that were being considered for October had been delayed:

After independent Deputy MiloŇ° Melcak filed a challenge with the Constitutional Court over early elections originally slated for October, the court ruled in his favor Sept. 10, striking down the mechanisms used to call elections. To bypass this ruling, both houses of Parliament passed a constitutional amendment with the necessary three-fifths majority Sept. 11, which allowed the Chamber of Deputies to dissolve itself. At the same time, MPs passed a law shortening the period from 60 to 50 days that the president has to call for new elections. This was all meant to pave the way for elections in early November, but the process itself again appeared open to challenge in the Constitutional Court, and constitutional experts agree it easily could have been.

Many more juicy details at the Prague Post!

The Czech Republic system is “pure” parliamentary; the (unelected) presidency is (mostly) ceremonial.

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