Sunday, 2 December 2018

Ministry: Lawmakers can back several presidential candidates

9 November 2017

Prague, Nov 8 (CTK) - The Interior Ministry insists on its view that a member of the Chamber of Deputies or the Senate can support several presidential candidates, Deputy Interior Minister Petr Mlsna said on Wednesday, reacting to the paper Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD) arguing that they can only back one candidate.

MfD wrote on Wednesday it presented the view of several constitutional lawyers.

Thanks to the signatures on the candidates' petitions, several people could be registered with the Interior Ministry for the January 2018 presidential election.

Mlsna said the interpretation was unambiguous and in harmony with the constitution and law saying that the candidacy of a single person must be signed either by 50,000 people, 20 members of the Chamber of Deputies or ten senators at least.

Mlsna said if the lawmakers had wanted the candidates to only sign a single petition when drafting the bill, they ought to have said what should happen if the lawmakers sign it for several people.

"The law does not deal with this at all," Mlsna said.

There is the question of what signature by a lawmaker would be valid on a petition if he/she had signed more of them, he added.

In such a case, a "malicious" lawmaker might deliberately sign several of them, claiming that he only signed one.

"In such a case, the Interior Ministry could not register them and the malicious lawmakers would pushed them out of the game. This is quite an absurd interpretation by the constitutional lawyers," Mlsna said.

An administrative complaint connected with a petition for the presidential election can only be filed by the candidate who was not registered by the Interior Ministry before the election, Mlsna said.

The successful registration of someone else cannot be challenged in court, he added.

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