Presidential Standard of the Republic of Czechoslovakia

This a list of Presidents of Czechoslovakia from its declaration of independence on October 28, 1918 to its conquest by the German Reich (Nazi Germany) and the Kingdom of Hungary in March 1939.

The President according to the Czechoslovak Constitution

The president was elected by both chambers of parliament in joint session (acting in accordance with the standing orders of the lower chamber). The presidential term of office was of 7 years, with a term limit of 2 terms (the first president was exempted from this provision). Candidates for the presidency had to be at least 35 years old.

Although the constitutional powers of the presidency were limited, the personal prestige of the first president, Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, and the weakness of successive governments meant that the president wielded in practice more authority than the plain text of the constitution suggested. The constitution laid down that all executive functions rested with the government except as expressly assigned to the president. However, as the president could address written or verbal messages to parliament, appoint and dismiss ministers, attend and preside over cabinet meetings, and demand written reports from individual ministers, presidential influence on the executive was in practice considerable.

The president concluded and ratified international treaties, saving that treaties imposing personal or military burdens upon the subject or involving territorial changes required parliamentary consent. The president could return to parliament, with accompanying observations, any law. Whereupon, parliament could by majority vote re-affirm the law to bypass the president. If there was no majority in the senate, then the lower chamber could pass the law unilaterally by a subsequent vote by means of a three-fifths majority, bypassing the upper chamber and the president. The president was commander-in-chief, and appointed all high-ranking officers, university professors, judges and senior civil servants.

In periods when the post of the President of the Czechoslovak Republic was vacant, some presidential duties were carried out by the Prime Minister. However, the Czechoslovak Constitution did not define anything like a post of acting president.

List of Presidents of Czechoslovakia

  ČSNS Logo Czechoslovak National Socialist Party (Československá strana národně socialistická)
  Czechoslovakia COA large Party of National Unity (Strana národní jednoty)

# Portrait Name Assumed office Left office Political Party
(October 28, 1918 - October 3, 1938)
1 Tomáš G. Masaryk - small Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk 14 November 1918 14 December 1935 Non-partisan
2 Edvard Beneš   Edvard Beneš December 18, 1935 October 3, 1938 Czechoslovak National Socialist Party
(October 3, 1938 - March 15, 1939)
2 Edvard Beneš   Edvard Beneš October 3, 1938 October 17, 1938[1] Czechoslovak National Socialist Party
3 Rudolf Beran   Rudolf Beran October 20, 1938 March 15, 1939 Party of National Unity


  1. Resigned due to bad health and political pressure.

See also

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