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Czech president floats constitutional amendments after court delays elections

[JURIST] Czech President Vaclav Klaus [official website, in Czech] on Wednesday called an emergency meeting [press release, in Czech] of political officials to discuss potential changes to the country's constitution, one day after the Constitutional Court [official website, in Czech] delayed elections [press release, in Czech] planned for October 9 and 10 to consider a suit by a lawmaker. The court delayed the election after independent lawmaker Milos Melcak filed a complaint [text, PDF, in Czech] alleging that the scheduled elections violated his rights by not allowing him to serve his full parliamentary term. Klaus said [press release, in Czech] he was "seriously concerned" by the court's decision, calling it "highly political." At Wednesday's meeting, politicians agreed to establish a working group to prepare amendments to the constitution that would make it easier to dissolve parliament and call new elections.

Former prime minister Mirek Topolanek [official website; JURIST news archive] formally resigned [JURIST report] in March, dissolving parliament, which led to the scheduling of the now-delayed October elections. The Czech Republic has been experiencing economic difficulty over the past year, and the delayed election will further delay budget negotiations. Since the breakup of Czechoslovakia in 1993, the Czech Republic has been led by a series of governments lacking a strong majority [Bloomberg report].

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