Left-wing parties win Czech regional elections.

By bne IntelliNews October 15, 2012
Left-wing Czech parties won the countrys regional elections held on October 12 and 13 as the voters punished the centre-right government for the unpopular austerity measures and graft scandals. The opposition Social Democrats (CSSD) received 23.6% of the votes winning in nine of the 13 regions where elections were held, according to final results of the Czech statistics office. The Communists (KSCM) followed grabbing 20.4% of the cast ballots, ahead of the senior ruling Civic Democratic Party (ODS) gaining just 12.3%. The results of both CSSD and ODS were weaker than in the previous regional elections held in 2008, while support for the Communists increased as they won in two of the 13 regions, while in the 2008 vote CSSD won in all regions. CSSD won in the South Bohemia, South Moravia, Hradec Kralove, Zlin, Moravia-Silesia, Central Bohemia, Pardubice, Olomouc and Vysocina regions. The Communists came first in the Usti and Karlovy Vary regions, ODS won in the Plzen Region and the movement Mayors for the Liberec Region came first in its region. Over the weekend Czechs also voted to fill one-third of the 81-seat Senate but none of the candidates managed to reach the 50% threshold and the top-two finishers face a runoff this week. IntelliNews comment : The elections results are another blow to the ruling government coalition already weakened by internal fighting and corruption scandals. PM Petr Necas is also facing a rebellion within his own ODS party as in September six fellow lawmakers refused to back a key government bill to raise the VAT as part of the cabinets efforts to cut the budget deficit to below the EUs limit of 3% of GDP next year. The parliament is again to vote on the tax hike plan after the government resubmitted the legislation and linked its approval to a vote of confidence. A fall of the government will likely lead to early elections to be won by the CSSD.
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