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 parties: Česká Strana Sociálně Demokratická, led by Bohuslav Subotka; Akce Nespokojených Občanů 2011, led by Andrej Babiš; Křesťanská a Demokratická Unie – Československá Strana Lidová, led by Pavel Bělobrádek.
Heads of government: Bohuslav Subotka, ČSSD, prime minister; Miloš Zeman, ČSSD, president.
Other parliamentary parties: Komunistická Strana Čech a Moravy, led by Vojtěch Filip; Tradice Odpovědnost Prosperita 09, led by Karel Schwarzenberg; Občanská Demokratická Strana, led by Petr Fiala; Úsvit Přímé Demokracie, led by Tomio Okamura.
Other notable parties: Strana Zelených; Česká Pirátská Strana; Strana Svobodných Občanů.
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 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, along with TOP 09 and Věci Veřejné. Zeman, as successor to Klaus, was elected directly in 2013. Nečas resigned that year; Jiří Rusnok 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.
FH: 1-1, free. Econ: 8.19 (19), full democracy.
Updated: 2014 November 1.
 

O.T. FORD