Senate elections bring success for right-wing opposition
The right-wing opposition Civic Democrats have come out as clear victors in elections to a third of the upper house of the Czech parliament, the Senate, but they have fallen short of an absolute majority. Even before the vote-count was complete, it was clear that the ruling Social Democrats had failed to defend any of the three seats which they were contending in this weekend's run-offs. The smaller parties in the ruling coalition also sustained losses. There was disappointment too for the opposition Communists, who had nine candidates in the run-offs, but won in only one constituency. For the first time a Senator has been elected for the Green Party, the journalist Jaromir Stetina in Prague. The overall turnout was extremely low, at under 20 percent, the lowest in the history of Czech Senate elections.