Right-of centre Civic Democrats earn landslides in regional, Senate elections

The opposition Civic Democrats swept regional and Senate elections in the Czech Republic on Saturday, finishing ahead of both the Communist Party and the ruling Social Democrats in a key electoral test. Out of a possible 675 regional mandates the right-of-centre Civic Democrats secured 291 seats, followed by the Communists with 157, and the Social Democrats with 105.

The Civic Democrats' exceptional performance means they dominate in 12 of 13 of the country's regions.

The Civic Democrats were equally convincing in the Senate race where one-third of seats was up for grabs. One Civic Democrat candidate won outright, while a further 20 Civic Democrat candidates hold leads going into the second round to be decided in a week's time.

In all 26 Senate seats remain to be decided with the Communist Party, the Social Democrats, the Freedom Union, the Christian Democrats also in contention - as well as smaller parties like the European Democrats and the Greens vying to reach the Senate for the first time.

Author: Jan Velinger