Abstract Linek

Selection of Candidates to the European Parliament in the Main Czech Political Parties

Lukáš Linek and Jan Outlý

Abstract: This paper analyses the candidate selection procedure in political parties before the elections to the European Parliament. It focuses on the four main Czech political parties: the ČSSD, the KDU-ČSL, the KSČM and the ODS. After describing the selection procedure based on written documents (party statutes and statutes governing candidate selection procedure), the authors analyse candidate selection using the classification framework established by Gideon Rahat and Reuven Hazan. This framework emphasises the four dimensions of a candidate selection method: candidacy, party selectorates, decentralisation, and voting/appointment systems. Findings from the analysis of written documents are compared with results from a questionnaire survey among candidates. Candidate selection in the ČSSD and the ODS was centralised around a narrow central executive with a closed candidacy only for party members. On the other hand, candidate selection in the KDU-ČSL and the KSČM was more decentralised with final decisions taken by wide central party bodies.

Keywords: Candidate selection, European Parliament elections, party organisations, Czech political parties