Brno, Feb 10 (CTK) – Over one-fifth of politicians’ statements were false or misleading in the past five years, Jan Tvrdon, head of the Demagog.cz project that checked over 7,500 statements by roughly 340 Czech politicians, told CTK on Friday.
Tvrdon said politicians’ truthfulness often was not a decisive criterion for voters.
The proportion of truthful and false statements does not change over time, Tvrdon said.
The truthful ones account for 63 percent, while 22 percent are false or misleading, he added.
The rest are statements that cannot be verified, which may arise from closed talks, Tvrdon said.
All the false information is not equally serious and it depends on whether a politician had inaccurate information or told the lie deliberately, Tvrdon said.
Truthfulness is not crucial for voters not only in the Czech Republic as the latest U.S. presidential election has revealed, he added.
“(Donald) Trump had a disastrous statistics of veracity of his statements and still he won,” Tvrdon said.
Also, President Milos Zeman had the statistics worse than the rest of the candidates in the latest presidential election in the Czech Republic, he added.
Emotions and political and economic stability still play a role in the elections, Tvrdon said.
Demagog.cz was formed in February 2012, following up the Slovak version of the project initiated by students of the Faculty of Social Studies of Masaryk University in Brno Matej Hruska and Ondrej Lunter.
At present, the statements are checked by about 25 activists, while the original number was 12.
They focus on the latest issues about which politicians may be speaking in political debates.
“It is not our aim to say which politician tells lies and which not, but to warn of false facts in their statements,” Tvrdon said.
In the Vaclav Moravec Questions regular programme on Czech Television (CT) the Demagog regularly watches, there are on average 28 statements, with the record number of 55.
The volunteers check the veracity of all of them.
The verification process has three degrees. “The checking can last five hours to two days,” Tvrdon said.
The Demagog members now want to increase the current verification of the statements they publish at www.demagog.cz and on social networks.