More foreigners may vote in local Czech elections
Changes to the voting law should allow EU citizens with temporary residence to vote
European Union citizens may obtain the right to vote in municipal council elections, even if they are only in the Czech Republic with a temporary residence. An amendment of electoral laws will be considered by the government on Wednesday, Aug. 24. A dispute about whether temporary residents could participate was resolved before the last elections in 2014 in court. Minister for Human Rights Jiří Dienstbier (ČSSD) has also proposed that other foreigners, not just EU citizens, should have the possibility of voting for local councils.
In the past, only EU citizens with permanent residence could participate in municipal council elections. The restriction was criticized the Ombudsman Anna Šabatová. A Slovak citizen living temporarily in Brno turned to the Regional Court of South Moravia, which in 2014 ruled in his favor and enrolled him in the list of voters. The State Election Commission then recommended that all municipal authorities should allow the participation of EU citizens with temporary residence in the Czech Republic in the October 2014 municipal elections.
Dienstbier would like the right to vote in municipal elections granted to other foreigners as well. He says that singling them out for exclusion them unfounded and discriminatory. “Foreigners with a right of permanent residence have lived in the municipality more than five years. After all this time they are usually a part of the local community and have an obvious legitimate interest in what is happening in their village,” he said, adding there is no reason to grant voting rights to citizens of Britain but not to those of the United States, which live in the Czech Republic a similar number. “The exclusion of foreigners from public life hinders their better integration into the local community and their integration in society,” Dienstbier said. The Interior Ministry disagrees with his proposal, and will deal with it on Wednesday at the government meeting.
The amendment to the election laws will also changes the procedure for collecting signatures on a petition for independent presidential candidates. The number of required signatures, according to one proposal, reduces the number from the current 50,000 to 8,000, but signatures would have to be verified. A second variant retains the higher number of signatures, but the petition would need a signature and identity card number or passport number.
Further adjustments in the law relate to voting at Czech embassies and consulates abroad. The change is because problem arose during the presidential election in 2013, due to the transition to winter time at embassies in South America, though the law had not reckoned with the local delay. The situation had to be resolved by the State Election Commission. Changing the law would prevent a similar situation.
Behind the Scenes of the Mikuláš Tradition by Emily Prucha - Prague.TV
Praising the nice and punishing the naughty
Prague is the best place to live by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV (Foto: Prague.eu)
A survey of Czech regions compared over 50 criteria
Czech Republic is the fourth-best place for expats by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV (Foto: Prague.eu)
A survey by HSBC shows the country jumping up from 18th place last year
Why do you get the day off on October 28th? by Olena Kagui - Prague.TV
Czechs & Slovaks are celebrating the establishment of the Independent State
Czech remedies for an early cold season by Emily Prucha - Prague.TV (Foto: czechtourism.com)
Weathering the sniffles and keeping fit as temperatures drop
Prague has best quality of life in the Czech Republic by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV (Foto: prague.eu)
Study shows that the country overall lags behind Northern Europe
Getting Married in Prague by Olena Kagui - Prague.TV (Foto: czechtourism.com)
Everything you need to know about tying the knot in the heart of Europe
Prague’s Lost and Found by Olena Kagui - Prague.TV (Foto: Praha.eu)
Find out where to go if you lose something you love
Registering at the Foreign Police by Olena Kagui - Prague.TV
The entire registration process can take as little as 15 minutes and it is nothing to worry about
Renting a Flat in Prague by Prague.TV
A beginner's guide to finding an apartment in the Czech capital
Personal Assistant who SAVES YOUR TIME and NERVES. Just ask...
Your cheapest calls home!
Looking for a memorable experience in Prague?
Uncover the unique story behind the Staropramen brewery in...
Visa, green card, Trade license, Llc company, work permit,...
Short and long term rentals, help with relocation. We speak...
International moving and storage specialists