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Senate and regional elections to be held on October 7-8

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Prague, April 21 (CTK) – The elections to the regional assemblies and one-third of the Senate, the upper house of Czech parliament, will be held on October 7-8, 2016, President Milos Zeman has officially decided, his spokesman Jiri Ovcacek said on Twitter on Thursday.

The second round of the Senate polls is scheduled a week later, for October 14-15.

Zeman announced at a press conference after his visit to the Central Bohemia Region on Wednesday that the elections would take place on October 14-15. However, experts pointed out that such a date would be at variance with law and that the latest possible date was a week before.

Interior Minister Milan Chovanec (Social Democrats, CSSD) then conveyed the opinion of his office’s experts saying the regional election must be held within four years of the previous polls (held on October 12-13, 2012), that is on October 7-8 at the latest.

Otherwise the elections might be challenged in court and their results declared invalid, Chovanec said on Twitter.

“I will warn the president of the risk and ask him to reassess his decision,” Chovanec added.

Ovcacek later said if the announced date of the regional and Senate polls were at variance with law, Zeman would change it. He did so on Thursday.

By the later date, Zeman wanted to accommodate the deputies and senators he met during his tour of the Central Bohemia Region, Ovcacek added, but he did not elaborate.

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