Candidate challenges postponement of Czech elections

Lawyer Ondrej Lnenicka, a candidate nominated by the Civic Democratic Party (ODS) for the elections to the Chamber of Deputies, today lodged a constitutional complaint against the Czech Constitutional Court’s injuction postponing the calling of early elections, Lnenicka told CTK.

Lnenicka said there had been no reason to postpone the elections on the basis of the constitutional complaint lodged by deputy Milos Melcak (unaffiliated) because Melcak himself did not demand any postponement.

The Constitutional Court will discuss the complaint on Thursday. It may issue a verdict on the same day.

“I am not yet able to say whether we have received the complaint. The document must go through the records office and then it will be assigned to the judge-rapporteur,” court spokesman Vlastimil Goettinger said.

Goettinger said the Contituitional Ccourt would be unable to deal with Lnenicka’s complaint by next Thursday when it would hold public hearings that will examine whether the constitutional law shortening the election term of the Chamber of Deputies is in harmony with the constitution.

The court issued the injunction freezing the elections planned for October 9-10, unleashing a storm on the Czech political scene.

Melcak and his lawyer Jan Kalvoda say they the ad hoc constitutional law with which the Chamber of Deputies shortened its term in the spring, paving the way road for the elections, has violated Melcak’s right to execute the deputy’s mandate for four years.

The deputies passed the law after the centre-right government of Mirek Topolanek (Civic Democrats, ODS) lost a confidence vote.

Politicians hope that the court will dismiss Melcak’s complaint, thus making it possible for the early elections to be held as originally scheduled.

They are also preparing to pass a new amendment to the constitution under which the president can dissolve the Chamber of Deputies if the deputies themselves pass a bill demanding such a step with a three-fifths majority.

In this way, the elections could be held in early November.

Reacting to Melcak’s complaint analogically, Lnenicka said by postponing the elections indefinitely his right to be elected would be curtailed as he himself is running for the Chamber of Deputies.

“I believe that like in the case of Melcak, the Constitutional Court will react with the same speed and decide within five days. I hope it will provide me with the same protection of constitutional rights as in the case of Melcak,” Lnenicka said in his press release.

Lnenicka said the court did not respect the division of power and with its decision it had encroached upon the executive power which belonged to parliament.



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