President Klaus plans to call general elections on May 28 and 29, the latest possible dates. According to the Czech Constitution, the president must hold the election on a Friday and Saturday during the month before the end of parliament's regular term. The term ends on June 3.

 

Czech Senate Speaker Premysl Sobotka (ODS) said he would prefer the vote a week earlier. His lower-house counterpart, Miloslav Vlcek (CSSD), suggested balloting take place in the middle of May, arguing that an earlier date would give the newly elected government more time to replace the current caretaker administration.

 

 

Analysis and Forecast: Decreasing Risk

 

The president’s views on the timing of the election are unlikely to change. Although several political players have weighed in on the issue, it is largely irrelevant whether Mr. Klaus schedules the vote a few weeks earlier or later. In Hungary, the main reason President László Sólyom is expected to call elections at the earliest possible date is to make the campaign as short as possible. In the Czech Republic, no such arguments have come up.

Fears abound that the voting will produce yet another parliamentary stalemate. The most hopeful scenarios are that either the Social Democrats or a possible ODS-TOP 09 coalition will gain a majority. If not, the only alternative may be a coalition between the Social Democrats and the Communists, or a minority government whose instability and early downfall are guaranteed.

 

In addition to the 200-member Chamber of Deputies (the lower house), voters will also decide on municipal authorities and one-third of the Senate on Election Day.

 

 


Source: Centrum pro výzkum veřejného mínění Sociologický ústav