By Anna Fruhstorfer, Michael Hein (eds.)

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However, according to Elster et al. (1998, 79) it is unclear whether the influence of the 1920 constitution forms a real constitutional legacy or was “simply used to rationalize interest-based preferences”. Similarly, Kopecký (2001, 336) argues that “(r)eferences to the First Republic during constitution-drafting were largely attempts to legitimize particular party proposals, and had little to do with the concepts advocated more than seventy years before” (see also Rychlík 2013, 335). However, we suggest that this is not necessarily a dichotomy, especially not in a bargaining process such as the constitution-making in Czech Republic was.

After the Prime Minister Václav Klaus had formed a minority government in 1996 and had been supported by two deputies of the Social Democrats, the political situation forced the prime minister to resign in November 1997 (Álvarez-Rivera 2014). His party (ODS) was involved in a party financing scandal, accused of accepting donations by companies profiting by privatization efforts of the government (Vodiča 2010, 295). Due to a lack of a clear provision in the constitution to dissolve the first chamber of parliament in the wake of a vote of no-confidence, the constitutional act was issued for the shortening of the ongoing legislative period of the first chamber of parliament.

The PO was also active in the constitutional arena. It introduced a bill in 2008 that again attempted to reform the principle of immunity. However, the party withdrew this bill later on. An amendment introduced in late 2014 aimed to regulate the commercial use of forest. It did not find a sufficient majority either and was rejected with 291–150 votes and two abstentions in the third reading. Compared to the period 1992–1997, the content of all these proposals no longer addressed fundamental constitutional questions, but rather aimed for cautious modifications of the institutional order or the system of constitutional values.

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