Municipal elections - general
Elections to municipal councils are regulated by Act No.491/2001 Coll., on Elections to Municipal Councils and on Amendments to Certain Acts, as amended (hereinafter referred to as the "Elections Act"), the implementing regulation is Decree No.59/2002 Coll., on the implementation of certain provisions of Act No.491/2001 Coll., on Elections to Municipal Councils and on Amendments to Certain Acts, as amended (hereinafter referred to as the "Decree"). Act No 128/2000 Coll., on Municipalities (Municipal Establishment), as amended (hereinafter referred to as the 'Municipalities Act'), also applies to municipal elections in a broader sense.
Elections to municipal councils are announced by the President of the Republic no later than 90 days before they are held. The proclamation shall be published in the Collection of Laws. The date of the proclamation shall be deemed to be the date on which the volume of the Collection of Laws in which the decision to proclaim the elections was published was circulated (Section 3(1) of the Elections Act).
The last ordinary elections for municipal councils were held on 5 and 6 October 2018, meaning that the term of office of the municipal councils will expire on 6 October 2022.
How to run for municipal council
Entities entitled to stand as candidates in municipal elections, i.e. electoral parties, are exhaustively defined in Section 20 of the Elections Act. An electoral party may be registered political parties and political movements whose activities have not been suspended and their coalitions, independent candidates, associations of independent candidates or associations of political parties or political movements and independent candidates.
For each type of electoral party, we present the following
- The procedure for registering a political party or political movement is regulated by Act No.424/1991 Coll., on Association in Political Parties and Political Movements, as amended (see § 6 et seq. of this Act). In order for a political party or political movement to be formed, it is necessary to submit a petition for registration to the Ministry of the Interior, to attach the statutes in duplicate and a petition of at least one thousand citizens demanding that the political party or political movement be formed;
- a coalition of political parties and political movements, as well as an association of political parties or political movements and independent candidates, is a grouping formed by an agreement of the parties concerned for a specific election, expressed by the signature of the statutory representatives of the political party or political movement submitting the list of candidates;
- The Association of Independent Candidates is not a civic association according to Act No.83/1990 Coll., on the Association of Citizens, as amended; it does not have the status of a legal entity, which, after fulfilling the conditions for its constitution, obtains the status of a civic association by registering with the Ministry of the Interior.The Association of Independent Candidates is an informal group, not registered anywhere, unlike political parties and political movements (see above). An association of independent candidates is an ad hoc electoral party, i.e. only for the elections in which it is standing.
In order to be elected as a member of the municipal council, candidates must meet the condition of eligibility, i.e. they must be 18 years of age on the day of the election at the latest, they must be permanently resident in the municipality in which they are standing for election and, last but not least, they must be citizens of the Czech Republic or citizens of another state whose right to vote is granted by an international convention to which the Czech Republic is bound and which has been published in the Collection of International Treaties (citizens of EU Member States).
Furthermore, a candidate must not be hindered in exercising the right to vote by the obstacles referred to in Section 4(2)(a) and (b) of the Elections Act, i.e. a statutory restriction of personal liberty due to imprisonment or incapacitation.
The last condition, which does not preclude election as a member of the municipal council, but rather the subsequent exercise of the mandate, is the condition set out in Section 5(2), (3) and (4) of the Elections Act, which addresses the issue of incompatibility of offices.
The submission of nomination papers is regulated by Section 21 of the Elections Act. A model of a candidate list is set out in the Decree as Model No 6 (doc, 29 kB). The requirements of a candidate list are exhaustively defined in Section 22 of the Elections Act.
An electoral party, with the exception of an independent candidate, acts in electoral matters through its agent. The proxy or his/her substitute shall be a natural person who is so designated on the candidate list; he/she may not be a person under 18 years of age, a person deprived of legal capacity or a candidate. The acts of the agent shall be binding on the electoral party. An election party may revoke its agent in writing; the authorisation shall expire when the registration office receives the revocation (Article 22(4) of the Electoral Act).
The list of candidates must be accompanied by a self-signed declaration of the candidate that he/she agrees to stand as a candidate, that he/she is not aware of any obstacles to his/her eligibility for election or that these obstacles will have passed by the date of the municipal elections and that he/she has not given his/her consent to be included on another list of candidates for the elections to the same municipal council. On the declaration, the candidate shall indicate the place where he/she is registered as a permanent resident (i.e. his/her full address) and the date of birth (Section 22(3) of the Electoral Act). A specimen of the candidate's declaration is available in Annex 1 to the Ordinance as Annex to Model No 6 (doc, 24 kB).
If an independent candidate or an association of independent candidates forms an electoral party, a petition signed by voters supporting the candidacy of that electoral party must be attached to the list of candidates pursuant to Section 21(4) of the Electoral Act. The requisites of the petition are defined in the above-mentioned provision of the Act, with the necessary number of signatures of voters being set out in the Annex to the Act in relation to the population of the municipality on 1 January of the year in which the election is held, i.e. 1 January 2010. The required number of signatures shall be published by the registration office on the official notice board at least 85 days before the election day. Only voters may sign the petition, i.e. the condition of permanent residence in the municipality must also be met. Who is an elector is specified in Section 4(1) and (2) of the Elections Act. In addition to the voter's signature, the voter's name, surname, date of birth and place of registered residence (i.e. full address) must be stated, otherwise the vote cannot be counted in support of the electoral party. Signatures of the candidates themselves are also not counted. In the case of a petition, no specimen is available.
Number of candidates
The number of candidates on the candidate list is limited to the number of members elected to the respective municipal council. Only if 7 or fewer members of the municipal council are to be elected in the municipality may an electoral party list a maximum number of candidates equal to the number of members elected to the relevant municipal council increased by one third and rounded down to the nearest whole number. Thus, if a municipal council of 7 members is being elected, for example, a maximum of 9 candidates may be put on the list of candidates; in the case of a municipal council of 6 members, 8 candidates; in the case of a municipal council of 5 members, 6 candidates.
The number of members of the municipal council for each electoral term is determined by the municipal council no later than 85 days before the date of the municipal council elections (Section 67 of the Municipal Act) and announced on the official board of the municipal office no later than 2 days after the determination (Section 68(2) of the Municipal Act), i.e. 83 days before the date of the elections.
Submission of candidate lists
Pursuant to Section 21(3) of the Elections Act, electoral parties shall submit a list of candidates (or, in the case of an association of independent candidates or an independent candidate, a petition) no later than 66 days before the day of the municipal elections by 4 p.m. to the registration office. Within that time limit, the candidate list must have already been delivered to the registration office, i.e. it is not sufficient for it to have been handed in by post. The time limits under the Electoral Act cannot be extended or waived.
For the purposes of municipal elections, the registration office is the municipal office in municipalities where at least two departments are established; for other municipalities, the registration office is the municipal office in charge (Section 21(3) of the Elections Act). The list of registration offices in its territorial district shall be published by the designated municipal authority on its official notice board at least 85 days before the election day.
Assessment and registration of candidate lists
The registration office shall examine, within a period of 66 to 60 days before the election day, whether the list of candidates contains all the requirements laid down in the Electoral Act. If this is not the case, the electoral party would be requested by the registration office pursuant to Section 23(1) of the Electoral Act to remedy the deficiencies no later than 58 days before the date of the election, and no later than 53 days before the date of the election.
If the electoral party fails to remedy the defects, the registration office shall decide within 48 days before the election day to strike the candidate from the list of candidates (Section 23(2) of the Elections Act), to reject the list of candidates (Section 23(3)(b) of the Elections Act) or, if the list of candidates meets the requirements under the Elections Act, to register the list of candidates (Section 23(3)(a) of the Elections Act).
Against the rejection of a candidate list, the deletion of a candidate on a candidate list or against the registration of a candidate list, the electoral party that submitted the candidate list and, in the case of the deletion of a candidate, the candidate may, within 2 working days of the delivery of the decision (the decision is deemed to have been delivered on the third day after the date of its posting on the official board of the registration office), seek protection before the competent regional court.
The presentation of the candidates in the election campaign is left to their will. Pursuant to Section 30(1) of the Act, the mayor may reserve an area for the display of election posters at least 10 days before the day of the municipal elections. The possibility of using it must comply with the principle of equality of the parties standing for election. Under paragraph 3 of the above provision, electioneering and publicity for electoral parties is prohibited on election days in the building in which the polling station is located and in its immediate surroundings.
Announcement of elections - According to Section 3(1) of the Elections Act, the President of the Republic announces elections to municipal councils no later than 90 days before the elections are held
Before the election was called (for the most part)
- drawing up a candidate list + petition (in the case of electoral parties for which the law requires it)
- collecting signatures for the petition
- registration of a political party or political movement with the Ministry of the Interior
After the announcement of the elections to the
- 66 days before election day (by 4 p.m.) - submission of the candidate list to the registration office (Section 21(3) of the Elections Act)
- 66-60 days before the election day - the possibility to add additional candidates to the list of candidates or to change their order (§ 22 (2) of the Election Act)
- 53 days before election day - removal of defects on the candidate lists
(Section 23(1) of the Electoral Act) /where applicable/
- 30 days before election day - delegating representatives to the precinct election commission (Section 17(2) of the Electoral Act)
- 48 hours before the elections begin - the possibility for candidates to withdraw their candidacy in writing (§ 24 (1), (3) of the Elections Act)
Communication to registration authorities: