Legislative power in the Czech Republic is vested in a bicameral Parliament consisting of the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate. Besides issuing laws, the Parliament also ratifies international treaties and elects the President. The Senate counterbalances the Chamber of Deputies – it forms the basis for a better-quality legislative process and for continuity within the Parliament in case the Chamber of Deputies is dissolved. The Chamber of Deputies may pass a vote of censure against the Czech Government.
The two parliamentary chambers are autonomous. They are formed on the basis of different voting systems: The Chamber of Deputies follows the principle of proportional representation, while the Senate is a product of the majority-rule system. The members of the two parliamentary chambers also have terms of office of different lengths – members of the lower house hold office for four years, while senators have a six-year tenure (a third of senators are elected every two years). The Chamber of Deputies has 200 members; the Senate has 81 senators.
Parliamentary elections are held in accordance with the constitutionally guaranteed universal, equal and direct right to vote. All Czech citizens aged 18 or over can vote. Any Czech citizen who holds the right to vote and is at least 21 years old may be elected to the Chamber of Deputies. Any Czech citizen who holds the right to vote and is at least 40 years old may be elected to the Senate. No one may simultaneously be a member of both parliamentary chambers.

Last update: 16.8.2011 16:02

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