(HN/1) The Constitutional Court ruled yesterday that early parliamentary elections - currently scheduled for Oct. 9-10 - may not take place until the Court has decided on the constitutionality of the elections. The Court must first rule on the constitutional complaint filed by MP Miloš Melčák, who is challenging the legality of shortening the election term of the current Parliament. Deputy Chief Justice Eliška Wagnerová of the Court said that it simply will not be possible for the Court to make its decision before the Oct. election date. Klaus criticized the Court’s decision, saying that it is an “activist and unprecedented” step that will have a fundamental impact on the right of Parliament to exercise legislative power. He will meet today with PM Jan Fischer and the heads of the political parties. Paroubek and Topolánek criticized the Court and, in the interest of avoiding a delay in the elections, showed a willingness to pass a constitutional law setting forth general conditions for dissolving Parliament. Another possibility for triggering new elections is to give the interim government a no-confidence vote and then reject a new government three times in a row.
(P/3) The decision of the Constitutional Court might mean that the interim government of Jan Fisher will govern until next June, when elections were originally supposed to be held. (P/2) The chairmen of ODS, ČSSD and KSČM rejected the idea that Fischer’s cabinet would resign now and a new government would be chosen.
(HN/2) MP Miloš Melčák, who is the one challenging the legality of the early elections, “defected” from ČSSD to ODS in 2007 with Michal Pohanka of ČSSD and helped install the Topolánek cabinet (which then governed for two years). Their votes were also crucial in Klaus’s reelection. (HN/1) HN said that there will be speculation that ODS helped Melčák formulate his sophisticated constitutional complaint, because ODS is the party whose campaign has gotten off to the slowest start.
(P/5) A group of 17 senators, mainly from ODS, filed a constitutional complaint against an amendment relating to one aspect of the Lisbon treaty. The senators argue that a constitutional majority, and not a simple majority, should be required for Parliament to transfer powers to the EU.