Czechs cast ballots in vote seen as government test
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Last Updated: Saturday, October 23, 2010, 20:15
  
Prague: Czechs voted on Saturday in a mid-term Senate ballot, seen as a test for the new centre-right cabinet whose reforms and cuts are likely to slow down if the leftist opposition wins a majority.

Final results in the second-round run-off poll are expected by 5:00 pm (0830 IST), after the opposition Social Democrats came out on top in last weekend's first round.

Voting started yesterday in the 27 districts where seats in the 81-member Senate are up for grabs, pitting the strongest two candidates from the first round.

The Social Democrats, fielding 22 candidates, oppose cuts and reforms by the fiscally conservative centre-right government as too harsh for low-income groups in the former communist state.

The Social Democrats' acting chairman Bohuslav Sobotka recently said the party wanted "to gain a majority in the Senate to begin to correct the cabinet's reforms."

The Senate, now dominated by the right-wing, approves bills passed by the lower house before they can be signed into law by the president. If it turns them down, they return to the lower house which then sends them directly to the president.

PTI


First Published: Saturday, October 23, 2010, 20:15


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