Press Releases

27. 8. 2008 10:43

August 27, 2008 Government Gives Premier Mandate for Talks in the European Council; Cabinet Also Discussed Draft Changes of the Election System

The Premier has today received a mandate from the Czech Government for negotiations at Monday’s session of the European Council in Brussels whose main topic will be the situation in Georgia. The Czech Government Ministers have also discussed proposed changes for the country’s election system. 

“The mandate is in the context of yesterday’s discussions with the President. In the mandate, we confine ourselves to issues which the European Union can and must do,“ Premier Mirek Topolánek told the press conference. According to Alexandr Vondra, the Deputy Premier for European Affairs, the important thing for the participants in the European Council meeting is to focus more on the present and the future than on the past. Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg said the Premier´s mandate was relatively free. “The most important task is give assistance to Georgia, to help in its reconstruction. The Government has already agreed on the Czech Republic’s aid to Georgia amounting to roughly 150 million CZK. We are working hard to unify the EU´s position on this matter to prepare a plan for the reconstruction of Georgia, that is the main issue and that is also what our side will be talking about,“ the Foreign Minister added. 

Three Variants of Changes of the Country’s Election System 

At its meeting today, the Government has selected three possible variants of changes of the country’s electoral system. “We have reduced the number of alternatives, now we’ll have a detailed wording prepared, and then we’ll discuss it in the coalition as well as in the House of Deputies and in the Senate,“ said Premier Mirek Topolánek. According to Justice Minister Jiří Pospíšil, the Government has selected the Scottish, Greek and Dutch variants. These live up to the requirements of the coalition treaty which says that the election system should guarantee a higher rate of proportionality, giving the winner what is called an election bonus. “The document discussed and approved by the Government is public, giving a detailed description of the individual options,“ added the Minister.

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