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Court rejects all complaints against presidential election

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Brno, Feb 21 (CTK) – The results of the Czech direct presidential election, in which President Milos Zeman defended his post for another five-year term, is final as the Supreme Administrative Court rejected the last four complaints on Wednesday, court panel chairman Tomas Langasek has told reporters.

The court did not accept any of some 70 complaints against the election as substantiated.

Zeman defended his post in the January 26-27 second election round, gaining 51.4 percent of the vote and beating his rival, former Science Academy chairman Jiri Drahos.

Now, there are no legal obstacles to Zeman’s new presidential oath after his first term in office expires in early March, Langasek said.

A number of complaints criticised Zeman’s election campaign, for instance, connecting his rival candidate Drahos with the threat of migration and Zeman’s slogan “Stop to Immigrants and Drahos” and the campaign funding through the Friends of Milos Zeman association.

The election campaign was harder five years ago, the court said.

The administrative court then assessed the advertisement sharply attacking presidential candidate Karel Schwarzenberg, whom Zeman beat in the runoff in 2013, as unlawful.

This time, the court did not find out any such violations of law during the election campaign, though it considered the ad connecting Drahos with migration misleading.

The court can only intervene in exceptional cases when the election legislation is breached to a large extent, in a high intensity and with a demonstrable effect on the election result.

The seven-member court panel did not find a sufficient reason for such an intervention in any of the complaints.

Some complainants might turn to the Constitutional Court (US).

The Office Supervising the Financing of Political Parties and Movements can further deal with the election campaign.

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