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Senate and Municipal Elections 2006

Senate and municipal elections take place in the Czech Republic on October 20 and 21. A week later, on October 27 and 28, a second and more decisive round of Senate elections will be held.
Elections to the Czech Senate
The Senate is the upper chamber of the Czech Parliament. A third of its 81 seats are contested every two years. This means that unlike the Chamber of Deputies the Senate can never be dissolved, making the upper chamber a stabilising element of the Czech parliamentary system.
The 81 seats are voted on by a total of 81 constituencies. Every two years voters in 27 of those constituencies get to decide who will represent them in the Senate for the following six years.
This year 204 candidates are in the running for a place in the upper chamber. If a candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote in the first round he or she automatically becomes a senator. In all other constituencies there is a second, run-off election a week later between the two candidates who received the most votes in the first round.
In terms of law-making, the Senate rarely initiates legislation itself. For the main part it assesses laws which have been approved by the Chamber of Deputies; it can return these laws with suggested amendments to deputies. A Senate veto can be overturned by an absolute majority of all deputies in the lower house.
The Senate also plays an important role in presidential elections; members of both chambers of parliament decide on the highest state office.
Municipal Elections
Municipal elections are held simultaneously with the first round of Senate elections. In the Czech Republic over 200,000 candidates are standing for a total of 62,483 seats on municipal authorities. In the capital Prague representatives of individual city districts are also elected.
There is no direct connection between municipal elections and elections to the parliament of the Czech Republic, made up of the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate. However their results are being seen as an indicator of the overall mood after elections to the Chamber of Deputies which took place at the start of June but ended in political stalemate.
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The Senate

Radio Prague News:
 24.11.2006 Prague city council will not be bound by coalition agreement
 19.11.2006 Bem elected Civic Democrats' first deputy by wide margin
 30.10.2006 Senate elections: a triumph for the centre-right Civic Democrats
 28.10.2006 Social Democrat leader Jiri Paroubek blames police investigations for election result
 28.10.2006 Second round of senate elections sees low voter turnout
 28.10.2006 Civic Democrats clear winners of Senate elections
 28.10.2006 Division of seats in Senate, Civic Democrats enjoy majority
 27.10.2006 Second round of Senate elections underway
 27.10.2006 Czechs vote in second round of Senate elections
 23.10.2006 Bem likely to lead city hall for next four years
 23.10.2006 Right-of-centre Civic Democrats dominate in municipal and Senate elections
All related articles

Senate elections, I. round results, source: CTKSenate elections, I. round results, source: CTK
Municipal elections, source: CTKMunicipal elections, source: CTK
Municipal elections, source: CTKMunicipal elections, source: CTK
Municipal elections in Prague, source: CTKMunicipal elections in Prague, source: CTK
Election participation, source: CTKElection participation, source: CTK