Monday, 20 November 2017

Court to re-count preferential votes for ODS in Central Bohemia

ČTK |
10 November 2017

Brno, Nov 9 (CTK) - The Czech Supreme Administrative Court (NSS) will check the preferential votes Civic Democrats (ODS) received in the general election in Central Bohemia over doubts emerging about their way of counting, as a result of which the names of the ODS deputies elected in the region may change.

The ODS's preferential votes will be counted again in 915 election constituencies, which is the largest vote re-counting in the NSS's history, NSS judge Tomas Langasek told media on Thursday.

The re-counting may influence the order of the results of the ODS's four deputies elected in Central Bohemia and even lead to their replacement, but it will not affect the balance of forces in the new Chamber of Deputies.

The NSS is trying to settle all complaints addressed to it about the October 20-21 general election until November 19, a day before the October 20 first meeting of the newly elected Chamber of Deputies.

The NSS decided on the vote recounting in reaction to a complaining voter who found out that the preferential vote he gave to an ODS candidate had not been counted appropriately, and that his friends noticed a similar problem.

Langasek said a preliminary check of a sample of ballots has shown that the complaint was substantiated.

It cannot be ruled out that the mistakes were as numerous as to influence the election of some ODS deputies in Central Bohemia.

The problem seems to rest mainly in the counters' failure to count preferential votes marked on the reverse side of the ballot papers and their incorrect allotting of preferential votes to the candidates in the first four positions on the ballots where the voters clicked no candidate as preferential.

The deputies elected for the ODS in Central Bohemia are Jan Skopecek, Petr Bendl, Veronika Vrecionova and Vojtech Munzar.

According to the complaining voter, some local electoral commissions failed to count preferential votes gained by Martin Kupka, an ODS deputy chairman who was running on 31st position on the party's list of candidates.

The NSS obtained a total of 77 complaints about the elections. It has settled some and is yet to settle about 40 of them.

Some other complaints, too, mention problems with the counting of preferential votes, mainly in four constituencies in the Plzen Region, west Bohemia.

Langasek admitted that mistakes might have also occurred elsewhere, but said the NSS can only deal with cases in reaction to duly filed complaints.

The election was comfortably won by the ANO movement, which gained 78 seats of deputies, before the ODS (25), the Pirates (22), the far-right Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD, 22), the Communists (KSCM, 15), the Social Democrats (CSSD, 15), the Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL, 10), TOP 09 (7) and the Mayors and Independents (STAN, 6).

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