Several hundred of people Saturday demanded that the Czech centre-right government of Petr Necas (Civic Democrats, ODS) resign and the political system be changed, demanding more direct democracy. The so-called Big Assembly protest meeting in Prague’s centre called for a direct election of lower house members, mayors and regional governors. Only members of the upper house (senators) are elected directly. The Czechs will also elect their president for the first time next week. Until now, the two houses of parliament chose the president. Some of the speakers said a presidential system should be introduced in the Czech Republic, replacing the parliamentary one, and that people should have the power to dismiss politicians in a referendum.
Lower house member Vit Barta (opposition Public Affairs, VV) said direct elections would reduce the “power of godfathers and corrupt parties”. Barta said he apologises for enabling the existence of Necas’s government in 2010.
The VV entered parliament in mid-2010 for the first time and it formed a coalition government with the right-wing ODS and TOP 09. A year ago it move to opposition. VV’s popularity fell dramatically in the past two years and the party seems to have no chance of defending its parliamentary seats now, opinion polls indicate.