Czech Early Elections Continue amid Low Turnout
Saturday is the second day in which Czech voters are casting their ballots in early parliamentary elections.
The Czech parliament was dissolved in August following weeks of turmoil in national politics.
Prime Minister Petr Necas' government collapsed in June amid a bribery scandal, and a government of technocrats, formed by President Zeman in July and opposed by the main political parties, resigned in August.
Polls forecast a victory for the opposition parties on the left. The ruling right wing is expected to suffer a loss amid voter's frustration with austerity, stagnating living standards and corruption.
Although a record number of candidates are running at the elections, the turnout is estimated low, Monday being a national holiday.
According to polls, the main opposition Czech Social Democrats (CSSD) will be the winners with about 25-30% of the vote, although support for it showed slight decline in recent days.
Meanwhile, the hardline Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia (KSCM) is likely to get 15% and might rule, albeit in coalition, for the first time since the 1989 Velvet Revolution.
The Civic Democrats (ODS) (formerly led by Necas) and the other right-wing parties in the coalition will suffer a heavy blow, according to forecasts. Some polls put ODS as low as 6.5% while the threshold for parliamentary representation is 5%.
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