Local Government

Regional government has been developing in the territory of the Czech Republic since 1848. However, in the 20th century it was severely disrupted. It was not restored until after 1989, when the main focus was on municipalities. The Czech Constitution gives citizens the right to self-government in units defined as municipalities and regions. It defines them as legal persons governed by public law with their own budget, and decrees that their administration is the responsibility of assemblies elected by general, equal, direct and secret ballot for four-year terms.  


In the Czech Republic, fourteen higher territorial self-governing units have been formed (thirteen regions [kraj] and the City of Prague). The first elections were held in 2000 and the regional authorities have been exercising their powers since 1 January 2001. The supreme regional body is the assembly which, depending on the local population, has between 45 and 65 members. The assembly adopts decisions by an absolute majority of all members. The assembly issues decrees which are regarded as legislation of general application valid within the region. The region is headed by a president (hejtman), or by the mayor (in the case of the City of Prague), who is elected by the assembly from among its members.  


Municipal assemblies, elected by general equal, direct and secret ballot on the principle of proportional representation for four-year terms, are the basis of municipal self-government. Elections to municipal assemblies do not overlap with elections to regional assemblies; they are separated from each other by a two-year gap. The number of members in a municipal assembly is determined by the size of the municipality. Their meetings, like those of regional assemblies, are public. A municipality is headed by a mayor, who is elected by the assembly from among its members.

Last update: 16.8.2011 16:02

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