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Czech News in English » News » Politics » KDU-ČSL wants to change Czech election system

KDU-ČSL wants to change Czech election system

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Prague, May 28 (CTK) – The congress of the Czech Christian Democratic Union (KDU-CSL) on Sunday called on the party’s leadership to try to amend the election law so that the thresholds that coalition of parties must cross to enter parliament are lowered.

On Saturday, the KDU-CSL congress confirmed that the party will run in the autumn general election in a coalition with the Mayors and Independents (STAN).

A two-party coalition needs to win at least 10 percent of the vote to enter the Chamber of Deputies, while individual parties need 5 percent to succeed in the elections, even if representatives of other parties run on its lists of candidates. The 10-percent threshold is a challenge for the KDU/STAN alliance.

The congress said on Sunday the threshold for a two-party alliance should be lowered to 7 percent. It also wants the threshold for a three-party coalition to decrease from the current 15 percent to 9 percent.

The KDU-CSL delegates also want to change the system based on which the number of seats a party wins in parliament is calculated. The country should move away from the d’Hondt method and apply the proportional representation system, they agreed.

The Christian Democrats say the present system helps bigger parties at the expense of smaller parties.

The resolution of the KDU-CSL congress calls for an increase in defence spending and more transparent legislation.

KDU-CSL deputy chairman Daniel Herman said the Czech legislation was difficult for both firms and citizens due to frequent amendments to laws.

The party’s security expert Jan Safarik said NATO needs unity especially as the security situation in both Europe and the world is serious.

The resolution says the leadership should try to push through the raising of the defence spending to 2 percent of GDP, which is the level the country pledged to meet in NATO. The higher budget should be used to increase the combat capabilities of the Czech military, the resolution says.

The congress also agreed that the KDU-CSL should seek cooperation between European Union countries in the guarding of the external borders and it rejected quotas for redistribution of refugees across the EU.

The congress did not support the proposal that the party should demand that the Czech Republic join the euro zone in 2020.

Zuzana Roithova pushed through that the party would promote the introduction of voluntary health insurance so that Czech people can legally pay extra money for special care that is not covered from the compulsory insurance payments.

Roithova also called for the effort to increase the reputation of doctors and nurses and ensure that their sufficient numbers in the Czech healthcare system.

Roithova, who failed to be elected deputy chairwoman on Saturday, is one of the three women elected to the KDU-CSL broad leadership, along with Senator Sarka Jelinkova and Becov Mayor Olga Halakova.

The broad leadership also includes senator Jiri Carbol, lower house deputies Vit Kankovsky and Jaroslav Klaska, the party’s Prague branch head Jan Wolf and Zlin Regional Governor Jiri Cunek, who ran against Pavel Belobradek for chairman and criticises some of the steps of the leadership. MP Ludvik Hovorka, who criticised the KDU/STAN alliance was not elected to the broad leadership.

In his final speech at the congress, the re-elected leader Belobradek said the congress was actually the start of the election campaign.

The elections will be held on October 20-21.

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