The Czech government, which has a one-seat majority in the lower house of Parliament, has lost its majority in the Senate in weekend elections.
The coalition government, led by the Social Democrats, now only has 34 seats in the 81-member Senate. It will have to rely on 18 independent senators to pass legislation and elect its candidate to replace the current President Vaclav Havel in January 2003.
The centre-right Civic Democrat Party (ODS), which lost the June general elections, won nine out of the 27 Senate seats up for election, making it the strongest party in local elections. It now has a total of 26 seats.