Little interest in first round of Senate elections

Voting has ended in the first round of the Senate elections, in a poll marked by low turnout. Officials said only 30 percent of the electorate had bothered to vote in the first round, held on Friday and Saturday. A third of the Senate's 81 seats are being contested, in a vote which will help to choose a successor to President Vaclav Havel. The Senate has little real power, as vetoes can be overridden by the lower house. But its consent is crucial for changes to the constitution and its members elect a president along with 200 lower house deputies. Most Czechs see the Senate as irrelevant, and turnout has also been low in past elections.

Author: Rob Cameron