Updates: 07.04.2021 13:43
Released: 07.04.2021, 13:35
Prague – The Chamber of Deputies has approved a new method of converting electoral votes into parliamentary seats, which again favors more successful parties, but to a lesser extent than before. Mandates will be allocated automatically without the possibility of post-election intervention by the parties. Electoral coalitions will need fewer votes to enter the lower house than in the past. The changes, on which the parliamentary factions mostly agreed in advance, will now be considered by the Senate. The Chamber discussed the amendments with him in advance.
The amendment to the Electoral Act must be adopted due to the verdict of the Constitutional Court, which two months ago abolished the current method of allocating seats as unfair to small parties and favoring large ones. He also abolished the current quorum for coalitions of ten, 15 and 20 percent.
Newly, two-member coalitions would have to get at least eight percent of the vote and multiple coalitions 11 percent of the vote. Individual electoral parties would still need at least five percent of the vote to enter the House. Voters will elect deputies in 14 regions as before. Proposals to limit the number of constituencies or to introduce the Czechia as one constituency were not accepted.
According to the amendment, the Czech Statistical Office is to decide after the elections on the basis of the number of votes cast on how many deputies each region will have. Mandates in each region are to be allocated to electoral parties in the first ballot, according to the proposal of the chairman of the House Constitutional Law Committee, Marek Benda (ODS), using the Imperiali quota, which favors more successful parties but more moderately than the original d´Hondt method. The sum of votes for successful parties is to be newly divided by the number of regional mandates, increased by two, while the parties are to receive deputies according to their result in the region.
Mandates that could not be divided in this way are to be allocated in the second ballot. This would be done by adjusting Radek Vondráček (YES) and Vojtěch Pikal (Pirates) according to the profit of the parties and the preferential votes for the candidates. According to Pikal, up to 30 seats could be divided. The order of the constituencies would be determined by the highest remnants of the division in the first scrutiny, in case of equality the lot would be decided. The House did not accept Bend’s proposal, according to which the party leadership could determine after the elections from which regions the remaining deputies will be selected.
The Chamber of Deputies did not approve any of the amendments that would introduce the possibility of voting by correspondence from abroad. The lower house did not receive the approval of the proposals concerning the establishment of parliamentary groups. The head of the pirate deputies, Jakub Michálek, also failed with a proposal that the candidate group did not have to include voluntary support in the costs of the campaign.
Benda did not push for an increase in post-election state contributions to successful coalitions. Now, all types of groups can receive up to ten million crowns a year, depending on the election profit. Bend’s proposal assumed that two coalitions could have up to 16 million and multiple coalitions up to 22 million crowns a year.