Voting begins in elections to lower house

The Czech Republic's eight million voters have begun casting their ballots in elections to the Czech lower house. The polls opened at two o'clock on Friday afternoon, and will close at ten on Friday night, before opening again on Saturday at eight am and closing at two in the afternoon, when vote-counting will begin. No party is expected to win a majority and either the governing Social Democrats or the Civic Democratic Party are expected to get the most seats in the 200-seat lower house.

Among the first to cast their ballots were President Vaclav Havel and the outgoing prime minister, Milos Zeman, as well as the leaders of several of the biggest parties.

Author: Ian Willoughby