Polling stations around the Czech Republic closed at 2 PM on Saturday, ending municipal elections and the first round of voting for the Czech Senate. Nearly 50 percent of eligible voters have cast their ballots in the municipal elections, and a litle over forty percent showed up at the Senate elections.
A record 165 parties and movements are taking part this year, fielding more than 230,000 candidates for 60,000 seats in local councils. A record number of candidates, a little over 30 percent, are women. For the first time, the municipal elections are open to all EU citizens residing in the country, be they permanent or temporary residents.
In the municipal elections, various groups of independent candidates are leading with votes from fifty percent districts counted in. Christian democrats are leading among the established political parties, followed by the Social Democrats and the Communist Party.
With 30 percent of districts counted in the first round of voting for the Czech Senate, eight candidates of the ruling Social Democrats will advance to the second round, along with four ANO candidates and seven candidates for the Christian Democrats, two of them in coalition with the Green Party. No senator is likely to be elected in the first round so far.
One third of the Czech Senates 81 seats are being contested with 244 candidates competing for 27 seats. A second round of voting in the Senate elections will take place next weekend.
Police are investigating alleged election fraud and vote buying in the north Bohemian municipalities of Lovosice, Litvínov, Chomutov and Bílina, and in te north Moravian towns of Ostrava and Český Těšín, a police spokeswoman said on Friday. The alleged fraudsters were reportedly targeting members of the local Roma community, offering them money to vote for a particular party. If the suspicion is confirmed, the election results in the towns in question will have to be cancelled.
Pavel Landovský, famous actor, playwright and Charter 77 signatory, has died at the age of 78. Mr Landovský was a prominent dissident under the communist regime and a close friend of the late Václav Havel. In the 1970s he was banned from film and television and after signing the charter, he was also prevented from working at the theatre. After being severely beaten by the Secret police in 1979, he left for Vienna, where he was offered a place in the famous Burgtheater. He returned to Prague in 1990 after the fall of the Communist regime.
The annual multi discipline contemporary art festival 4+4 Days in Motion got underway in Prague of Friday evening. Now in its nineteenth year, the festival offers dance and theatre performances, public lectures and discussions and an exhibition, taking place in various venues across the city. The event runs until October 18.
The Czech national football team defeated Turkey 2:1 in Istanbul on Friday night, securing their second win in the Euro 2016 qualification. Turkey grabbed the lead eight minutes after the start, but Czechs equalized a few minutes later with a shot by Václav Sivok. Václav Pilař scored in the second half, securing the win for the Czech national team. The Czechs will next face Kazakhstan on Monday.