Foreigners from the countries outside the EU and with a long-term stay in the Czech Republic may be perhaps granted the right to vote in local elections, Human Rights Minister Jiri Dienstbier (Social Democrats, CSSD) told CTK Friday. Immigrants’ participation in the decision-making process in their place of residence would contribute to their integration, Dienstbier said. He said he wanted to open a debate on the voting right to immigrants and amendments to election laws. At the end of last year, some 441,500 foreigners had a legal stay in the Czech Republic, 238,900 of whom a permanent one.
“There is the question of whether those living here for five to ten years should be given the right to vote at least on the local level,” Dienstbier said.
“If we want to integrate foreigners who live here for a long time, giving them a bigger share in the decision-making process or at least a better reaction to the problems they encounter here can only help,” Dienstbier said.
He said it was in the Czech Republic’s interest to try and integrate the immigrants as good as possible, he added.