The Czech Republic recently held elections for 27 of its 81 seats. These are American-style two-round single-district elections.
Five incumbents did not run for re-election, and nine of them were defeated.
Jana Zwyrtek Hamlová was elected for an association of independent candidates. This association previously had not elected a senator since 2004. However, Hamlová is the former mayor of the city of Mohelnice. She also served in the House of Deputies as a Social Democrat from 2005 to 2006.
She rose to prominence during the Covid-19 pandemic for her legal work in the Czech Supreme Court to overturn draconian lockdown measures enacted by the government.
Jan Pirk was elected for the party Top 09. He is a surgeon, medical professor, and director emeritus of a major cardiovascular center. He was an early high-profile critic of the government’s response to Covid-19. In March of 2020, he described Covid-19 as “influenza with a very mild course” and called the government’s reaction to the disease “groundless madness.”
The fact that he was elected by a major establishment party has caused infighting both within the party and between Top 09 and their allies.
Daniela Kovářová was also elected as an independent. She is a former Czech Republic Minister of Justice from 2009 to 2010. However, now she is most known for her anti-feminist writings and support of traditional gender roles.
In 2021 she delivered a lectured titled “The pros and cons of female emancipation” at Charles University that prompted outrage in the media.