For elections to the House of Deputies there are 14 electoral districts, corresponding to the 14 regional administrative units. The Czech Constitution stipulates a proportional electoral system. The number of electoral districts is larger than in the last parliamentary elections (when there were 8), meaning that larger parties will have a slight advantage in comparison with the 1998 poll. Seats are distributed between parties that receive over 5% of the vote nationwide. If two parties enter the election as a coalition they require over 10% of the vote, for a coalition of three parties the threshold is 15% etc. Within the individual electoral districts (each of which returns a predetermined number of deputies) the distribution of seats is determined using the "d'Hondt" method, which - for example - is also used in Germany.
In previous parliamentary elections there was a ban on campaigning for two days before the election and during the poll itself. This restriction has now been lifted, although parties are not allowed to campaign on election day at the polling stations themselves. For a three-day period before the election and during the election itself there is a total ban on publishing the results of new opinion polls. All parties standing are allotted equal slots in the public service media (Czech Television, Czech Radio) for party political broadcasts, for which they do not have to pay.
All Czech citizens over the age of 18 are entitled to vote, unless they have been deprived of their legal capacity. Citizens do not have to be resident in the Czech Republic. For the first time, it will be possible for Czech citizens to vote at Czech embassies and consulates abroad.
More information: www.mzv.cz/volby
Anyone who is over 21 and enjoys full voting rights, also has the right to be elected. Senators have to be over 40.