The Czech Republic is a small nation situated in Central Europe. In ancient times, the region was composed of three territories, namely Bohemia, Moravia, and Czech Silesia. The region went through numerous European wars until 1918, when it gained independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Following independence, the nation of Czechoslovakia was formed. The Republic of Czechoslovakia remained as a unitary nation for seven decades until 1989, when a peaceful revolution began. In 1993, Czechoslovakia split into two independent nations: the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Currently, the Czech Republic is a multiparty democratic state. It has three branches of government: executive, legislative, and judiciary.
Executive Branch of Government
The nation’s president is the head of state and the chief commander of the armed forces. Direct elections are held every five years to pick the president of the Czech Republic. The holder of the office serves for a maximum of two terms. The president exercises limited powers, and the primary duties are to appoint the prime minister, to appoint a senior official at the Czech National Bank, to nominate judges of the constitutional court, and to dissolve the parliament in exceptional circumstances. The prime minister is the head of government. Some of the roles performed by the prime minister include appointing members of the cabinet, overseeing the Chamber of Deputies, and setting domestic and foreign policies.
Legislative Branch of Government
The Czech Republic has a bicameral parliamentary system, in which the legislative role is done by two chambers, namely the senate and the Chamber of Deputies. The Czech Republic's senate is comprised of 81 members who are elected by the public for six-year terms. Senate elections often suffer low voter turnout due to lack of awareness among the public. The Chamber of Deputies was created to replace the federal national assembly after the separation of Czechoslovakia in 1993. It has 200 members who are elected by Czechs and serve for four years. The major role of the two parliamentary chambers is to formulate laws. They also nominate top officials in government such as the prime minister.
Judicial Branch of Government
The legal system in the Czech Republic is based on civil laws and is similar to the German system. Its highest court is the supreme court. It has a team of 67 judges who resolve political and administrative cases, as well as other cases forwarded from the junior courts. Cases that involve constitutional violation are settled in the constitutional court. Senior judges in the supreme court and constitutional court are nominated by the legislature and must be approved by the president. Other subordinate courts in the country are the high court, regional courts, and district courts.
The Czech Republic exercises a decentralized system of governance. The nation is divided into 14 self-governing administrative units. The 14 regions include Prague, the country’s capital city. Each unit has a regional assembly whose members are elected by the people in the region. Except for Prague,which is headed by a mayor, all other regions are led by a regional governor. The administrative units take charge of the development matters in their area including education, sanitation, healthcare and environmental matters.
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