This Saturday afternoon polls closed bringing to an end two days of regional and Senate elections in the Czech Republic. The polls closed at two in the afternoon local time. As was widely predicated voter turn-out was on the low end of the scale, at around just 29 percent.
With the majority of constituencies in the regions now counted success for the right-of centre Civic Democrats, led by party chairman Mirek Topolanek, is certain.
In the race for regional governments the opposition Civic Democrats have garnered the greatest percentage of votes, leading in 12 out of 13 regions, which they are expected to win. The Communist Party, and the ruling Social Democrats came in 2nd and 3rd in voter preference. One region in south Moravia is being closely contested by the Christian Democrats.
In the Senate, meanwhile, 65 percent of the ballots counted show the Civic Democrats leading in 15 Senate races, while the Communists lead in 6, and the Christian Democrats in 4. Smaller party representatives are vying for the last two spots.
Senate run-offs will take place in two weeks' time.
The Social Democrats' party chairman Prime Minister Stanislav Gross has rued his party's poor performance in the both the regional and Senate elections; on Saturday Mr Gross told journalists that he was "not happy" with the results. But, Mr Gross suggested that low voter turn-out had helped both the opposition right-of-centre Civic Democrats and the Communist Party; he did say at the moment it appeared he had little choice but to congratulate the Civic Democratic Party. The regional and Senate elections were widely seen as the prime minister's first big political test since taking over leadership of his party, following the Social Democrats' dismal showing in European parliamentary elections in June.
Police have found the body of Stanislav Brunclik, a businessman abducted by kidnappers in late September. The abductors were paid several million crowns in ransom by the victim's father, but Mr Brunclik, who was 33, was never released. Following a police search lasting over a month the man's body was finally found buried in a forest in the Pardubice region of east Bohemia.
Police have already arrested two suspects in the case: two men in their mid-twenties; if found guilty of murder each could face between 12 and 15 years in prison, or could even be given extraordinary sentences of 25 years.
The Czech Republic registered this year's first snowfall in Krusny Hory (Krusny Mountains) near the region of the famous Bohemian spa town Karlovy Vary. Two centimetres of snow covered roads in the area. Snow was expected in the area after temperatures dropped Friday. This evening the area will see just 0 degrees Celsius.
Sunday is expected to be cloudy with some sunny intervals but a maximum daytime temperature of just 7 degrees Celsius.
Language exams for foreigners seeking permanent residency permit to become tougher
Czech teenager builds second-largest ever Millennium Falcon LEGO model
Gunman kills six patients in Ostrava hospital, two more fighting for their lives
Press: Era of 100-crown lunch special is over, as food prices rocket
HN: Developers aiming to sell co-living concept in Prague