After the counting of three-quarters of votes in regional elections in the Czech Republic, the opposition Social Democrats are ahead in 10 of the 13 regions being contested. The Civic Democrats, who head the right-of-centre Czech government, are so far topping the polls in one region, as are the Mayors for Liberec Region group and the Communist Party. Prior to the weekend’s elections, the Social Democrats held power in all 13 regions. Prague is the only region where voting has not taken place. Voter turnout reached 35.6 percent.
In terms of national breakdown per party with three-quarters of votes counted, the Social Democrats had received 24.2, the Communists 20.9 percent, the Civic Democrats 11.9 percent, the Christian Democrats 9.8 percent and TOP 09 6.3 percent.
Elections have also been held for one third of the seats in the Czech Senate. The Social Democrats are hoping to make up ground in the upper chamber, where they would enjoy an absolute majority if they capture three more seats. Constituencies in which no candidate receives more than 50 percent will see run-off votes between the two leading candidates next weekend.
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