Support Ukraine Here -> Freedom Boxes

Právo: Law limiting costs of election campaigns is unclear

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email

Table of Contents

Prague, Jan 4 (CTK) – The law limiting Czech political parties’ spending on their election campaigns, which took effect on January 1 and which is to be applied to the autumn general election for the first time, is not unambiguous, it arouses various doubts and it can be circumvented, Pravo writes yesterday.
The costs connected with the campaign are to be counted to the limit as from the moment President Milos Zeman announces the date of the election, which he must do no longer than 90 days before the voting, Pravo writes.
The spending on the campaign conducted before the declaration of the election date would not have to be counted, Pravo writes.
However, Petr Mlsna, deputy interior minister for legislation, said it will be up to the office to supervise parties’ financial management to deal with this, Pravo writes.
But the office, which was established as from January 1 and which is to be seated in Brno, will probably be fully operable as from the spring only, Pravo adds.
“The law limits the election campaign as from the moment the president announces the election date. But the law also says the costs which will continue from before the declaration of the election date will also be counted,” Mlsna said.
“This means that if you hire billboards in May and if you l continually use them since then and the president announces the election date in July, the overall costs of the billboards will be counted to the campaign,” Mlsna said.
However, he admitted that the law does not deal with a situation where parties would divide their campaigns in contracts with suppliers into two parts – one before the official declaration of the election and the other after it.
The above office would have to say whether or not this is circumventing the election campaign rules, Mlsna said.
Jan Kysela, constitutional law expert, told Pravo that this also concerned the presidential campaign in 2012 and 2013.
He said Zeman waged the campaign for about one year and only a part of it fell within the period of the official campaign.
Kysela said the law has other flaws as well. “It can be circumvented by sticking up a poster, which can only feature you and your name, but need not mention any link to any candidature. It is rather difficult to restrict this with a legal regulation,” he told Pravo.
Opposition lawmaker Marek Benda (Civic Democrats, ODS) said he does not expect the office to do much.
“All these are but secondary attributes with which we are trying to make the campaigns a little bit juster and not only about money,” he told Pravo.
He said he does not believe that a campaign which is launched early would have any big weight.
“Don’t let us forget that people are making decisions [on which party to support] later and later,” Benda said.
Those who would breach the new rules can be fined up to half a million crowns.
($1=26.017 crowns)

most viewed

Subscribe Now