Czech Republic

Czech Republic

Freedom House Rating

Government Type
Parliamentary Republic
10.7 million
Regional and Senate Elections
October 2 and 3, 2020 (Second round: October 9-10, 2020)
Parliamentary Elections
October 2021 (due)
Municipal and Senate Elections
October 2022 (due)
Presidential Election
January 2023 (due)
Municipal and Senate Elections
October 5 and 6, 2018
Presidential Election
January 12 and 13, 2018
Parliamentary Elections
October 20 and 21, 2017
Regional and Senate Elections
October 7 and 8, 2016

The Czech Republic held Senate and regional elections on October 2 and 3, 2020, with the second round Voters will elect 27 members of the 81-member Senate, as well as members of regional councils in 13 regions (except for Prague).

Political Context

The 1989 Velvet Revolution ended 41 years of communist rule in Czechoslovakia, and the country held its first democratic elections in 1990. Subsequently, in 1993, Czechoslovakia split into Slovakia and the Czech Republic, in what has been called the “Velvet Divorce.” The country is a parliamentary democracy; as such, the prime minister holds most executive power, while the president is the head of state.

The current prime minister, controversial billionaire Andrej Babiš, came to power following the 2017 parliamentary elections. His ANO party won a plurality, but not majority, of seats, and he has had a turbulent tenure in office. It was not until July 2018 that he was able to form a governing coalition

In the 2018 presidential election, anti-immigrant populist Miloš Zeman won a second term.

Geopolitical Context

The Czech Republic joined NATO in 1999 and the European Union (EU) in 2004.

The debate over China looms large in Czech political circles. Both Babiš and Zeman have worked to build stronger links with Russia and China. Conversely, various political parties across the political spectrum have built links with Taiwan. For example, Prague mayor Zdeněk Hřib established a sister city deal with Taipei. Additionally, Senate president Milos Vystrcil from ODS led an 80-member delegation to Taiwan to deepen ties, in defiance of Babiš and Zeman.

Curated News and Analysis

AP (October 3, 2020): Czech Republic: Andrej Babis’ party wins big in regional elections 

David Hutt, World Politics Review (September 23, 2020): As Czechs Debate Their Political Future, Vaclav Havel Returns to Center Stage

21votes does not necessarily agree with all of the opinions expressed in the linked articles; rather, our goal is to curate a wide range of voices. Furthermore, none of the individuals or organizations referenced have reviewed 21votes’ content, and their inclusion should not be taken to imply that they endorse us in any way. More on our approach here

Updated September 28, 2020

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