chapter  8
17 Pages

Czech Republic

Weak governments and divided opposition in times of crisis 1
WithPetra Guasti, Zdenka Mansfeldová

This chapter illustrates the complicated governance in the Czech Republic. Weak and unstable governing coalitions grapple with the presence of two types of opposition – permanent and mainstream opposition. On both austerity and budget policies, the permanent opposition acts along ideological lines – always rejecting these measures – while the mainstream opposition’s behaviour is more nuanced. After initially cooperative behaviour, the mainstream opposition switched from consensus to conflict. This shift took place in the context of the increased salience of socio-economic issues and the fall of public support for the governing parties. The consequence of weak governing coalitions and a confrontational style of opposition is the recurrence of non-partisan governments, used to bridge the party divides and ensure the completion of the legislative term.