ČESKO
Officially: Česká Republika.
English: Czech Republic.
Seat of government: Praha.
Status: Democratic.
Structure: The parliament (Parlament) comprises the Poslanecká Sněmovna, elected by party-list proportional representation, and the Senát, elected in geographical constituencies. The prime minister is chosen by the Poslanecká Sněmovna. The president is directly elected.
Governing party: Akce Nespokojených Občanů 2011.
Heads of government: Andrej Babiš, ANO, prime minister (since 2017); Miloš Zeman, ČSSD, president (since 2013).
Other parliamentary parties: Občanská Demokratická Strana, led by Petr Fiala; Česká Pirátská Strana, led by Ivan Bartoš; Svoboda a Přímá Demokracie, led by Tomio Okamura; Komunistická Strana Čech a Moravy, led by Vojtěch Filip; Česká Strana Sociálně Demokratická, led by Lubomír Zaorálek; Křesťanská a Demokratická Unie – Československá Strana Lidová, led by Pavel Bělobrádek; Tradice Odpovědnost Prosperita 09, led by Jiří Pospíšil; Starostové a Nezávislí, led by Petr Gazdík.
Other notable parties: Strana Svobodných Občanů; Strana Zelených.
Assessment: After the 2006 election, parliament was actually evenly divided between center-right and center-left, giving President Václav Klaus (2003-13) of the ODS abnormal influence, and leading to instability. A government led by ODS, with Mirek Topolánek (2006-9) as premier, lost a confidence vote in parliament, but Topolánek was reappointed, at one point leading a minority government of the ODS alone. He later won a bare majority in a vote of confidence, eventually to fall after a small number of defections. The non-partisan Jan Fischer (2009-10) was agreed as his replacement. Klaus opposed the ODS government on various issues, though the president’s role was originally formal. An election was held in 2010 for a permanent government; ČSSD finished first, but the center-right formed a coalition under Petr Nečas of ODS (2010-3), along with TOP 09 and Věci Veřejné. Zeman, as successor to Klaus, was elected directly in 2013. Nečas resigned that year; Jiří Rusnok (2013-4) was appointed caretaker PM by Zeman. In elections that fall, the ČSSD suffered its third straight drop in seats, but still finished first; it formed a government with ANO 2011 and KDU-ČSL under Bohuslav Subotka (2014-7). In 2017, ANO 2011 secured a strong plurality in a fragmented parliament, and formed a minority government.
FH: 1-1, free. Econ: 8.19 (19), full democracy.
Updated: 2017 December 24.
 

O.T. FORD