Opposition party ANO leads first round of Czech Senate elections

Of the 27 Senate seats up for grabs, three were won outright this weekend while the remaining 24 will be decided during runoff elections next week.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 25.09.2022 09:59:00 (updated on 25.09.2022) Reading time: 3 minutes

Members of the Czech Republic's opposition ANO party are celebrating following the results of this weekend's Senate and municipal elections. The Czech Statistical Office published the final results of this weekend's elections this morning.

Led by former Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, the centrist ANO party will send 17 candidates to next weekend's Senate election runoff. They also won municipal elections in most of the Czech Republic's regional capitals.

"We are glad that the results look as they do so far [...] In general, I suppose that we have considerably improved our position," Babiš said during a press conference late last evening.

"Thank you very much to everyone who came to the free democratic elections for municipal and city councils and the Senate. And above all, I thank our voters for supporting us."

Senate Elections

In the initial round of voting for the Czech Senate, a total of 27 seats were up for grabs. Three candidates crossed the 50 percent threshold to win the seats outright: current Senate deputy chair Jiří Růžička for the TOP 09 party in Prague, ANO's Ladislav Václavac in Bruntál, and the Christian Democrats' Petr Fiala (not the Czech Prime Minister) in Ústí nad Orlicí.

The last time this many seats were won outright in the first round of Senate elections was in 1996. The remaining 24 seats will be contested during the second round of Senate election next weekend.

Among all parties, ANO will send the most candidates to vie for these seats at 17.

"The interesting thing about these Senate elections is that only two candidates faced each other in the electoral district of Ústí nad Orlicí," the Czech Statistical Office's Eva Krumpová notes in a press release. "This happened for the first time in the history of the [Senate] elections."

The Czech Senate, the upper house of parliament, has a total of 81 seats. While the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house, has a larger role in the legislative process, the Senate must approve judges nominated to the country's highest court as well as amendments to the constitution.

Municipal Elections

In municipal elections, the ANO party showed clear victory this weekend in eight of the Czech Republic's thirteen regional capitals, leading results in Hradec Králové, Jihlava, Karlovy Vary, Olomouc, Ostrava, Pardubice, Ústí nad Labem, and Zlín.

Parties from the SPOLU coalition - the Civic Democrats, TOP 09, and the Christian Democrats - led results in Prague, Brno, Plzeň, and České Budějovice. SPOLU is part of the coalition that leads the current Czech government under Prime Minister Petr Fiala. The Mayors for Liberec Region party won in Liberec.

During municipal elections four years ago, ANO won in 11 regional capitals, with Mayors for Liberec Region winning in Liberec and the Civic Democrats taking Prague.

A total of 6,383 Czech municipalities voted for their composition this weekend, with 195,214 candidates vying for 61,796 seats. Voter turnout this year hit 46.07 percent, slightly down from the 47.34 percent turnout for municipal elections in 2018.

The highest turnout was recorded in the village of Kyje in the Jičín district, at 98.28 percent. The lowest turnout, at 17.68 percent, was seen in the village of Sklené in the Svitavy district.

Four Czech municipalities, Počepice in the Příbram district, Biřkov in the Klatovy district, Jestřabí in the Giant Mountains in the Semily district, and Okarec in the Třebíč district, now have all-female councils. A total of 423 municipalities, meanwhile, are represented by men only.

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