Thursday, 24 April 2014

Lawyer complains of Zeman over presidential campaign money

9 January 2013

Prague, Jan 8 (CTK) - Lawyer Milan Hulik Tuesday filed a complaint about Czech presidential candidate Milos Zeman (Party of Citizens' Rights, SPOZ) and members of his election committee demanding that he release data on all sponsors who have contributed to his campaign.

Hulik claims that some 6.7 million crowns were transferred to Zeman's transparent account still before the Interior Ministry officially registered him as a candidate, but that Zeman has not provided information on the sponsors.

Zeman's team has dismissed the claim about a non-transparent funding of the presidential campaign.

It said it collected no money before the transparent account was opened.

Zeman, former Social Democrat (CSSD) prime minister, and former caretaker prime minister Jan Fischer (unaffiliated) are favourites of the first round of the first direct election to be held on Friday and Saturday, according to public opinion polls.

"Zeman is the sole candidate not to have fulfilled his duty under the presidential election law - he has not publisehd the origin of the money that was deposited in his account as the first," Hulik writes in his complaint.

The openness of the presidential campaign is monitored by Transparency International (TI). It assesses its transparency on the basis of several criteria, including data on the funding of the campaign, cooperation with advertising and PR agencies, and the team of people who work on the camapign of the particular candidates.

TI draws information from the candidates' web presentations, their official profiles on social netwowks, statements in national media and particularly answers to its written applications for information.

According to the TI data updated Tuesday, the most transparent campaign is Fischer's, followed by Tana Fischerova (unaffiliated) and Zuzana Roithova (Christian Democrats, KDU-CSL).

The standings are closed by Jana Bobosikova (extra-parliamentary Sovereignty party) and Zeman.

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