CZECH REPUBLIC
Parliamentary Chamber: Senat

ELECTIONS HELD IN 1998

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Chamber:
  Senat


Dates of elections / renewal (from/to):

  13 - 14 November 1998
20 - 21 November 1998


Purpose of elections:

  Elections were held for one-third (27) of the Senate seats of the normal expiry of the members' term of office.


Background and outcome of elections:

  In June 1998, no party emerged clearly victorious in the Chamber of Deputies poll and a minority Government was formed by Mr. Milos Zeman of the Social Democratic Party (CSSD) on the basis of an agreement with the main opposition Civic Democratic Party (ODS), led by former Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus. According to this pact, neither of the two main parties would initiate a vote of no confidence in a government run by the other. This pact aroused some controversy, particularly among smaller parties. On 1 September, four of them united in a quad coalition whereunder they would jointly nominate candidates for the Senate and municipal councils. Of centrist and center-right orientation, they were the Christian Democratic Union-Czech People’s Party (KDU-CSL), the Freedom Union (US), the Civic Democratic Alliance (ODA) and the Democratic Union (DEU).

The first round of polling on 13 and 14 November saw a light voter turnout and no conclusive outcomes in any of the 27 races. The two leading candidates thus faced each other in the runoffs a week later. The abstention rate on these dates was no lower, as only some 20% of the electorate cast ballots. Final results showed that both major parties had lost seats but nevertheless retained enough to hold onto the three-fifths Senate majority needed for effecting constitutional reform. The quad coalition, on the other hand, captured 13 seats, with the remaining two going to the Communist Party.

STATISTICS
Round no 1 (November 1998): Elections results  
Number of registered electors 2,700,000 (approx.)

Round no 1: Distribution of seats  
Political Group Total Seats 1998
Quad Coalition 28 13
Civic Democratic Party (ODS) 26 9
Social Democratic Party (CSSD) 23 3
Communist Party (KSCM) 4 2

Comments:
  The Quad Coalition comprises the Christian Democratic Union-Czech People’s Party (KDU-CSL), the Freedom Union (US), the Civic Democratic Alliance (ODA) and the Democratic Union (DEU)

Distribution of seats according to sex:  
Men: 72
Women: 9


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Copyright 1998 Inter-Parliamentary Union