At the first round of the Senate elections last week, the ruling coalition in the Czech Republic, the Civic Democratic party (ODS), TOP ’09, and Public Affairs (VV), were in a difficult position. At the second round, the main questions were how many seats would the ODS lose and would the opposition left win enough seats for a so-called constitutional majority of 49/81 seats in the upper house?
The answer to the first question is 10 and the answer to the second is ‘yes’.
Here are two nice graphics from ceskenoviny.cz. The first shows how many seats each party won (bear in mind only one-third of the Senate was up for renewal):
The CSSD are the Social Democrats and the KSČM are the Communists. Nezávislí kandidáti means ‘independent candidates’.
The second shows the overall position in the Senate and the gains and losses from this election:
So, the CSSD, KCSM and ex-CSSD Senators have 49 seats. The newspaper reports vary as to whether this will make a difference to the government’s control of the law-making process. However, it is clear that the government is currently is unpopular and is in an increasingly difficult position.