Czech ruling coalition wins big in regional ballot

The Czech Statistics Office says the three parties in the ruling center-left coalition have dominated the election for the country's regions and are ahead in the first round of voting for Parliament's upper house, the Senate.

It says with votes from 95 percent of ballot stations counted, the ANO (YES) movement led by Finance Minister Andrej Babis was a clear winner, claiming nine of the 13 regions contested in the two-day vote.

The Social Democrats, who used to dominate the regions, won only two, while the Christian Democrats took one. Both are in the ruling coalition. The final region saw a group of local mayors leading.

The three coalition parties also appear to have the most candidates advancing to next weekend's runoffs for 27 seats in the 81-seat Senate.