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Sat Jan 12, 2013, 10:36 AM

Czechs elect president by direct vote for 1st time

Source: AP


BY ASSOCIATED PRESS


PRAGUE (AP) — Former leftist Prime Minister Milos Zeman appears to be heading for victory in the first round of the presidential election in the Czech Republic.

With the votes from more than 50 percent of polling stations counted Saturday, Zeman was leading with 25.37 percent of the vote. Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg and another former premier Jan Fischer were fighting for the second with 20.35 and 17.37 percent, respectively.

Czechs are electing the country’s president in a direct popular vote for the first time, choosing from nine candidates to replace euro-skeptic President Vaclav Klaus.Zeman and Fischer were considered favorites. If no candidate achieves a majority, the top two finishers will face each other in a runoff in two weeks.

Klaus’ second and final term in office ends March 7.

-30-

Read more: http://www.salon.com/2013/01/12/czechs_elect_president_by_direct_vote_for_1st_time_2/

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Reply Czechs elect president by direct vote for 1st time (Original post)
DonViejo Jan 2013 OP
ButterflyBlood Jan 2013 #1
DonViejo Jan 2013 #2
ButterflyBlood Jan 2013 #3

Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 11:08 AM

1. Doesn't mean much, the Czech President has no real power

Just a ceremonial office, like that of constitutional monarchs.

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Response to ButterflyBlood (Reply #1)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 11:10 AM

2. When was the last time you cast a ballot...

for President that directly elected a President?

The President of the Czech Republic is the head of state of the Czech Republic. Unlike his counterparts in Austria and Hungary, who are generally considered figureheads, the Czech president has a considerable role in political affairs. Because many of his powers can only be exercised with the signatures of both himself and the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, responsibility over some political issues is effectively shared between the two offices.

Powers

The framers of the Constitution of the Czech Republic intended to set up a parliamentary system, with the prime minister as the country's leading political figure and de facto chief executive and the president as a ceremonial head of state. However, the stature of the first president, Vaclav Havel, was such that the office acquired greater influence than the framers intended.

Absolute authority

The President of the Czech Republic has the authority to act independently in a number of substantive areas. One of his strongest powers is that of veto, by which he can return a bill to parliament. Although his veto may be overridden by parliament, his ability to refuse to sign legislation acts as a check on the power of the legislature. The only kind of bills a president can neither veto nor approve are acts which would change the constitution.

The president also has the leading role in the appointment of persons to key high offices. He alone may appoint judges to the Supreme and Constitutional Courts, and members of the Bank Board of the Czech National Bank.

-snip-

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/President_of_the_Czech_Republic

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Response to DonViejo (Reply #2)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 11:24 AM

3. Hmmm wasn't aware of that the office did hold some power

I was thinking of the surrounding countries as noted. Thanks for the info.

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