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First round of voting for Czech senate elections to begin

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First round of voting for Czech senate elections to begin

czech elections
Photo: Senate of the Czech Republic

Voting for the first round of Czech Senate elections will begin today.

The elections will determine the composition of a third of the Czech Republic’s 81-seat Senate. Following this weekend’s vote, the two candidates with the highest tallies in each race will compete in a second round to be held on October 9-10.

The elections will mark an important test for ruling ANO party leader and Prime Minister Andrej Babis, serving as a referendum as to whether the PM’s attractive anti-establishment rhetoric and populist economic policies can override the distrust caused by fraud allegations. In November, over 200,000 people took to the streets of Prague demanding Babis’s resignation.

Despite a May poll showing support for ANO slipping from 33.7% to 28.4% due to mismanagement of a second COVID-19 outbreak, ANO maintains a healthy lead on opposition parties and is expected to emerge victorious. The pro-European liberal Pirate Party is likely to make significant gains while the Social Democrats and Communists are slated to endure tough losses. Despite expected low voter turnout, the results of the elections will provide key insights regarding the upcoming 2021 general election that will determine whether ANO and Babis retain power.

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