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TI: Horáček has most transparent presidential campaign

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Prague, Jan 8 (CTK) – Michal Horacek has the most transparent campaign out of the nine candidates for Czech president, while the funding of the campaign of President Milos Zeman is the least transparent, according to the Transparency International organisation’s assessment released on its website on Monday.

Along with businessman and lyricist Horacek and Zeman, who seeks re-election, former Science Academy chairman Jiri Drahos, former Civic Democrat (ODS) chairman and ex-PM Mirek Topolanek, physician and activist Marek Hilser, former ambassador to France Pavel Fischer, Skoda Auto former board chairman Vladimir Kulhanek, Defence and Security Industry Association President Jiri Hynek, musician and producer Petr Hannig are running in the presidential election.

The campaign of all presidential candidates cost more than 60 million crowns by the end of last year, TI Czech Republic director David Ondracka said.

“We estimate that up to 200 million crowns might be spent (on campaigns) till the election,” Ondracka said.

He pointed out that the campaign in Zeman’s favour must have cost dozens of million of crowns, including billboards and online advertisements promoting him.

According to the survey of the candidates’ transparent election accounts, Horacek has deposited the highest sum of 27 million crowns into his account.

Ondrej Cakl, coordinator of the campaigns monitoring, says Horacek has released the most data on the funding of his campaign. He is the only candidate to release regular information about his expenses, his team and the entities cooperating with him.

On the contrary, Zeman officially claims he is not leading any election campaign.

However, the involvement of the Friends of Milos Zeman in the campaign for his re-election might be qualified as circumventing the law, TI said.

The first round of the direct presidential election will be held on January 12-13, 2018, and a possible second round two weeks later.

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