published: 20.10.2012, 20:30 | updated: 20.10.2012 20:44:00
Prague - The results of the elections to one third of the Czech Senate are particularly a kind of signal to the senior ruling Civic Democrats (ODS) who lost ten mandates and will have the lowest number of senators since the house was established in 1996, political scientists told CTK today.
On the contrary, the left gained a constitutional majority (49 seats in the 81 upper house of parliament) for the first time in history, but this practically changes nothing, the experts said.
The winning opposition Social Democrats won in 13 out of 27 constituencies in which the elections were held. Together with the Communists and Vladimir Dryml (formerly CSSD, now member of the Party of Citizens Rights of Milos Zeman), they will have a constitutional majority of 49 votes.
The ODS was defending 13 mandates, but it only won in four wards.
"Four defended seats, this is a fiasco. It proves that the government, Prime Minister and ODS chairman Petr Necas and the whole ODS are declining," political scientist Zdenek Zboril said.
He said on top of that, with its squabbling, the ODS in fact provided content for the CSSD´s election campaign and helped its subsequent success in the elections.
Yet, this does not change much in relation to the Chamber of Deputies and the passing of bills. "The Senate does not have strength to completely prevent passing bills," Zboril said.
He, however, said he expects some independent candidates who were elected to the Senate to support the left-wing parties´ opinions of government reforms.
Besides, the parties will probably step up their criticism of the ODS which they will be reminding of that it is an unsuccessful political party and that the government coalition is not trusted, Zboril said.
Political scientist Bohumil Dolezal said the ODS´s result is deplorable, but that he expected it.
He also said the left´s majority in the Senate "changes nothing from the practical point of view."
He said people also elected independent candidates because they expect something from them.
"This is a certain strange hysterical expectation" that is felt all over the country, Dolezal said.
He said, however, the promises made may be fulfilled in various ways and "people may perhaps be eventually surprised," Zboril said.
Political scientist Vladimira Dvorakova said the ODS "succeeded" in losing more than expected. It is to be seen what lesson it will learn from it.
Dvorakova said the ODS´s candidates succeeded in confrontation with Communists (KSCM), but were not that successful where they were faced by other entities´ candidates.
She said the left-wing´s majority in the Senate is no problem.
¨"It already had a majority, but I would rather ask what message this has sent to the ODS," Dvorakova said.
Political scientist Tomas Jarmara said this was not the ODS´s first election defeat.
He said it was due not only to the party´s crisis, but also to that its candidates have lost any credibility.
Jarmara said voters generally showed dislike of big political parties in the elections, which also the election of some independent candidates proves.
He also said he does not expect the left-wing Senate to affect the everyday functioning of the government.
"I would not overestimate the influece of the Senate," Jarmara said.
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