System of government in Czech Republic

The Czech republic is a sovereign, united and democratic state. Its government is divided into three branches – The legislative, represented by the parliament, the executive, represented mainly by the president and the government, and the judicial, represented by courts at various levels.

The parliament consist of two chambers – the Chamber of Deputies (poslanecká sněmovna) and the Senate. Although according to the constitution both chambers should be working, our parliament at present still lacks (postrádat) the Senate. It was supposed (předpokládat) to be formed subsequently (následující) while the chamber of Deputies was composed of the members of the former Czech national Council from the times of federation. The 200 Deputies and 81 Senators have the exclusive duty of making laws. These two groups of members of the Parliament differ in the way in which they are elected and in the length of the terms they serve. The elections to the Chamber of Deputies take place every four years while every two years one third of the Senators is renewed (obnoven). When these times come, every citizen (občan) from the age of 18 can exercise the universal, equal (rovnoprávné), direct (přímý) and secret right to vote. The Parliament’s main task is to pass laws, ratify (ratifikovat) international treaties, and decide (rozhodnout) on sending troops abroad.

The parliament is a law – making body. A new law-to-be, a bill can be proposed (navrhnuto)by a deputy a group of deputies the Senate, the government, or higher-level (local) authorities. The bill first goes to the Chamber of Deputies which debates and ultimately votes on it. A bill that has been passed by the Chamber of Deputies is then submitted (předkládáno) to the senate Where the process begins anew. The law (act) must be approved (schvalovat) by the government. A law must be signed by the head of the Chamber of Deputies, the prime minister, and the president.

The president is elected every Five years by the Parliament but no one can serve more than two terms in office in a row. The president represents the state abroad and concludes (uzavírat) foreign treatise (dohody). He has also many duties in relation to the other bodies of government: appointment (jmenování) of all judges, generals of the army, ambassadors and other officials. The president is also the commander-in-chief of the army.

The government is composed of the premier, the vice –premiers and the ministers. The hierarchy of the executive branch goes further down to the local authorities where the municipality (městská správa) is the smallest unit. The several ministries headed (v čele) by ministers, enforce (prosadit) laws made by the Parliament. Some of the ministries are: Interior, Foreign affairs, Defence, Justice, Industry, Commerce, Agriculture, Finance, Transport, Labour and Social affairs, Education, Culture and Health.

The judicial power is divided into a system of courts (dvory), starting with the constitutional Court and the supreme Court and going down to the courts at all levels of regional government. The courts check the constitutionaly of existing laws. They apply the law in practice in individual case. They can nullify (zrušit) a law except for a constitutional one. Judges serve for an unlimited period of time, must have a good reputation, and must be professional lawyers.

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