EurActiv.com

EU news and policy debates across languages

29/09/2016

Election apathy in Czech Republic

Enlargement

Election apathy in Czech Republic

The issue of constitutional reform fails to excite the Czech electorate.

Background

Elections to the Czech Republic's upper chamber, the Senate, on 12 November produced only one clear result in the first round. The other 26 seats where no candidate gained more than 50% of the votes cast will be decided in a second round of voting.

One third of the senate seats were contested in an election which focused on a bid by the ruling Social Democrats (CSSD) and the Civic Democrats (ODS) to get the three-fifths majority necessary to make constitutional changes that would reduce the power of the President. A turnout of 34% highlighted the electorate's lack of enthusiasm for this issue.

Regional elections were also contested on Sunday, with the right-wing ODS making significant gains at the expense of the CSSD. The Communist KSCM also made some gains. However, the impact of these election results were also somewhat reduced by voter apathy which led to another very low turnout.