Election news good everywhere else

14 Nov

A Green has been elected to the Czech Senate. This is the the Czech Greens' first victory:

War reporter and human rights activist Jaromir Stetina attributed his victory vote to the Czech public's disillusionment with the established parties.

"Voter dissatisfaction with the existing arrogance of power certainly helped me to win," Mr Stetina told BBC Online shortly after the results were announced.

The governing Social Democrats were the main casualties of the election, failing to win a single one of the 27 seats up for grabs in the upper house.

Greens leader Jan Beranek hailed the vote as a historic success for the party, and the fulfilment of his promise to take the party to parliament.

"This is the first step on the party's course to change Czech political culture," Mr Beranek said.

Before the elections, Mr Stetina had received the endorsement of former President Vaclav Havel, who said that his espousal of Green causes was "something that especially draws me to him".

What makes this victory all the more impressive is that in 2002 the Greens got 2.4% of the national vote in the elections for the lower house. That was below the threshold for earning seats in their PR system. The Senate uses single member districts. To go from 2.4% support nationally to having a plurality in a single district is truly an accomplishment.

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