Turnout for municipal, Senate elections at 40 percent

About 40 percent of eligible voters nationwide cast ballots in the municipal and Senate elections that took place on Friday and Saturday, initial estimates show. The estimated turnout varies widely from town to town and district to district, the Czech News Agency reports.

In the Karlovy Vary region, for example, the average turnout was less than 20 percent while in the central and southern Bohemian regions participation was at about 35 percent as of noon, two hours before the polls closed, at 2 p.m.

One-third of the seats in the upper house of Parliament are being contested. A second round of voting in the Senate elections takes place next weekend, for contestants who fail to win 50 percent of the vote in the first round.

A total of 216,000 candidates ran for around 62,000 seats in city and local councils. There were 236 candidates vying for one of the 27 vacant seats in the Senate.