Talks underway in the regions on forming governments

Negotiations have got underway on the formation of regional governments in the wake of the weekend elections. The overwhelming support for left-wing parties –seen as a show of opposition to the government’s austerity drive – opens the way for the formation of left-wing coalitions with a significantly bigger role for the Communist Party than in previous years. The opposition Social Democrats came first in 9 out of 13 regions, though they had won in all of them in 2008, with the Communist Party hard on their heels in most. While the Civic Democrats triumphed in the Pilsen region alone, the current coalition of the Social Democrats and Communists is likely to continue there as well. In other regions the Christian Democrats, the Zemanites and regional groupings have a chance of playing a role in government.