The second (and final) round of the Czech Senate elections yesterday confirmed what the first round (November 12) suggested, i.e., the extremely poor performance by the ruling Social Democrats, who won just one of the 27 contested seats and suffered a net loss of seats (one-third of the Senate's 81 seats are contested every two years). The overall victor of the Senate elections was the opposition center-right four-party coalition (won 17 seats, strong net gain). The largest opposition center-right party, the ODS (which tolerates the minority Social Democratic government) won 8 Senate seats (but suffered a net loss of seats). The Senate’s political role is rather limited, e.g. the lower chamber can relatively easily overrule a Senate veto. The immediate impact of the Senate elections on the political balance of power will therefore be rather small, and the minority government is very likely to remain in power until the next general election, in June 2002. The prime minister, Milos Zeman, said in the past that he would step down as the Social Democratic party leader next year.