Record number of candidates to run for Senate

More than 200 candidates, a record number, have put themselves forward for election to the upper house of the Czech Parliament ahead of a vote scheduled for the end of October, authorities said on Friday. In all 204 candidates will compete for the 27 seats up for grabs, beating the previous record of 197 set in 2004. The Czech Republic elects its senators every two years, when a third of the 81 seats become available. Observers say the elections will be an important political indicator after the country's June general election left the lower house split evenly between right- and left-wing parties.

One of the candidates is Pavla Topolankova, the wife of the prime minister designate Mirek Topolanek, who is standing on a platform openly hostile to her husband's right-wing Civic Democratic Party.