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Analysts: Low turnout helps Christian Democrats

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Prague, Oct 15 (CTK) – The record low turnout in the second round of the election to the Czech Senate helped Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL) who have disciplined voters, analysts told CTK on Saturday.

People mostly do not believe the Senate is a good thing, the analysts said.

The Christian Democrats won 9 out of the contested 27 wards in the 81-member upper house of the Czech parliament on Saturday.

Three mandates were won by Finance Minister Andrej Babis’ ANO, the Mayors Movement and the opposition Civic Democratic Party (ODS) each.

The Social Democrats (CSSD, a member of the three-party coalition government) only won in two wards as did the conservative opposition TOP 09 and the regional grouping

The outcome of the vote was largely affected by record low turnout of 15.4 percent of eligible voters.

Three mandates for ANO was a failure because the movement had much bigger ambitions, the analysts said.

Josef Mlejnek said the lawmakers should think of the low turnout and try to modify the election system or the powers of the Senate.

“If people do not have the experience that a change in the Senate composition has an impact on their lives, they are reluctant to go to the polling stations,” Mlejnek said.

Jan Kubacek has proposed that the Senate be transformed into a regional chamber.

“When people go to vote, they prefer regional personalities. The calling of mayor is the winner of Saturday’s election,” Kubacek said.

The low turnout always suits the Christian Democrats, the analysts said.

“This can be primarily seen in Moravia. The party does not have to mobilise its voters as they are used to go and vote,” Pavel Saradin said.

Thanks to their disciplined electorate, Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL) proved to be stronger than they really are, Mlejnek said.

Communists were the biggest losers as they did not win any seat in the upper house of the Czech parliament, Kubacek said.

This is a system problem because the party is unable to motivate its voters, although they are considered relatively disciplined, he added.

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