Polls open in first round of Senate elections
Senate elections that could end up testing the ruling coalition's slim majority in the upper chamber have gotten underway: polls opened at two o'clock Friday. The first round of voting takes place this Friday and Saturday, with the second round scheduled for November 1st and 2nd. In all a third of the 81 senatorial seats are being decided in districts from around the country in what is a two-year rotating system. 168 candidates are taking part. So far polls have suggested that as much as fifty percent of eligible voters may cast their votes. The ruling coalition must secure 16 of 41 seats it currently holds if it hopes to maintain at least a one-vote majority in the Senate, but both the leading opposition Civic Democrats and the Communist party are seen as potentially difficult contenders.