Thursday, 24 April 2014

Presidential candidates agree on changes in parliament

17 January 2013

Prague, Jan 16 (CTK) - Presidential candidate Milos Zeman (SPOZ) would like to increase the authority of the Senate, while his rival, Karel Schwarzenberg (TOP 09 ), wants a majority system for the elections to the Chamber of Deputies, Zeman and Schwarzenberg said in their debate on Czech Radio (CRo) yesterday.

Zeman wants the upper house to represent regions, while Schwarzenberg wants a clear majority to be ensured through the majority vote.

"If I really could, I would seek a change to the election system," said Foreign Minister Schwarzenberg.

He said a proportional system, similar to that in Britain, should be used for the election to the lower house, while the proportional system would be better for the upper house.

Zeman (Party of Citizens' Rights, SPOZ) said it should be considered whether the Senate should become a sort of regional representations, perhaps along the German model.

"I think that in this way, the senators could defend more both rightfully and perhaps unrightfully the interests of their regions and would have a bigger say," said Zeman, a former Czech prime minister.

The presidential election's run-off vote is scheduled for January 25-26.

Zeman and Schwarzenberg gained 24.2 and 23.4 percent of the vote in the first round, respectively.

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