Regional revolution fails to inspire disillusioned Czechs

r_2100x1400_radio_praha.png

Czechs went to the polls on Sunday, electing a third of the 81 seats in the upper house, the Senate, as well as members of 14 new regional parliaments. We'll have more on the Senate in a moment, but first the new regions. Each new regional parliament will elect a hejtman, or governor, who will enjoy sweeping powers in areas such as health and education. But while the changes amount to a revolution in the heavily centralised Czech state, providing a third tier of government between Prague and district councils, they have failed to inspire the Czech people: less than 40 percent bothered to vote. According to Vaclav Zak, editor-in-chief of the bi-monthly journal Listy, the Czech media is largely to blame, as he told Radio Prague's Rob Cameron: