Time for a New President

By Stransky, Martin Jan | The New Presence: The Prague Journal of Central European Affairs, Autumn 2009 | Go to article overview

Time for a New President


Stransky, Martin Jan, The New Presence: The Prague Journal of Central European Affairs


The Czech Constitutional Court recently annulled a law passed by parliament which proposed that the date of the parliamentary election be moved up to this October from the scheduled date in the spring of 2010. The aim of the initiative was that the relatively strong parties consolidate their positions in the face of emerging newer smaller parties. The Court pointed out that it in no way "opposed the MPs" as some claimed, but rather that the MPs had ignored an already standing constitutional mechanism for parliament to dissolve itself and call elections. The Court also pointed out something more substantive: the Constitution is not a document to be changed due to momentary political whims.

The Court's decision was accepted by the heads of all political parties and major politicians except President Vaclav Klaus and the Communists. In response to the decision, Klaus stated that "it will now be necessary to draft a new definition of the powers of the Constitutional Court."

Such statements are in keeping with Klaus' points of view, which were formed entirely as a member and beneficiary of the communist state: Klaus' tuition for his economic studies outside of Czechoslovakia were paid for by the state, and his ability to travel outside of the country signifies collaboration. All this has influenced Klaus' view on democracy today.

Klaus, who has been labeled by prominent psychologists as a pathologically flawed narcissist, views himself as a post-communist absolute ruler, pronouncing that "judges usurp the power which legitimately belongs in democracies to politicians." Klaus views society as a division of classes and estranges Czech citizens and organizations via labels such as "flawed intellectual dissidents" and "NGO-ites. …

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