Czech Republic: Election Ends in Stalemate

Global Voices Online
Monday, June 5, 2006

On June 2 and 3, the fourth election to the Chamber of Deputies since the 1993 split of Czechoslovakia took place in the Czech Republic - and ended in stalemate. Below are some bloggers' reports and reactions.

On the day the voting began, Bob Granico of Publius Pundit posted a comprehensive roundup of parties and their platforms, as well as various forecasts:

The likely outcome of the election seems to be a centre-right coalition government of the Civic Democratic Party and the Christian Democrats, but a key factor in the elections will be how well the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia does.

When the voting ended, My Czech Republic Blog noted that a coalition government looked unlikely:

When converting the percentages into the number of seats in the Chamber of Deputies, it looks unlikely that a majority government will be formed. The Civic Democrats/Christian Democrats/Green Party coalition would only get 100 seats, which is the same number the Social Democrats/Communist Party coalition would have.

Lemuel, a Slovak blogger of Deleted By Tomorrow, has been following the election in the neighboring country very closely and with more passion than he felt was necessary:

I have to remind myself, "I am not a Czech, I am not a Czech, this does not concern me", but it is really hard.

Here is Lemuel's take on the current prime minister Paroubek (and head of the Social Democratic Party):

The truly Faustian thing about this man is that he is willing to break the 16-year-old taboo of not cooperating with the unreformed Czech Communist party. He famously declared "If need be, we will pass the laws that are necessary for the prosperity of this country, for the people of this country, with the help of the Communists. And if Martians were to fall here, then I would pass the laws with their help."

Douglas Arellanes commented on the press conference given by Paroubek after the polls had closed:

Paroubek’s press conference had the tone of a temper tantrum. He basically confirmed one of the things most Czechs either openly or quietly feared: that he would let the Communists into the government.

Another non-Czech-based blogger, Gospodin_I of Bulgaria, looks at the election results from a perspective of someone whose country may soon follow the Czech Republic on its path into the EU:

[...] if the Party of the Civic Democrats is to adopt such a hard line on European integration, it obviously is cashing on a trend in public opinion. To say it more simple - EU resentment must exist in the Czech society if it is to be manifested in the positions of one of the leading parties. [...] Soon after the accession (whenever it happens), we will realise that the initial costs of EU memberships are much larger than the initial benefits. And I am pretty sure that some of the leading parties that are now riding the wave of ‘returning Bulgaria to Europe, where it belongs’ and claiming the responsibility for this fateful choice of path will then change their positions in order to find new identities and of course voters. Just like the Civic Democrats do…

Finally, Jesse of Bored in Brno wrote about two of his favorite parties in this election and their ways to promote themselves:

Probably the most interesting party that has caught my attention is number 23, the "Folklore and Society" party. Certainly not one I expect to hear great things of in the election results, but perhaps a nice sentiment.

I'm not sure what advice folklore would offer the government.


My favorite advertisement, however, was for the Green Party. Among the parties that actually have some chances in the elections, the Greens are probably my favorite. Unlike in the U.S., they actually have some significant support here—well, they have parliamentary representation even though nothing like a majority. They were giving out free bags of "Green" Tea; this appealed to my taste for tea and bad puns. Not to mention that I like the idea of the Green Party.

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