The first stage of the Czech presidential elections is reaching its climax with voting taking place this Friday and Saturday. The nine candidates seeking to become head of state will be trying to get their final messages through in the next days and that’s likely to mean a rush to the campaign coffers where some are, apparently, more equal and open to scrutiny than others, Radio Prague writes.
It’s the second direct Czech presidential elections with nationwide campaigns in swing from the nine candidates. And, like the first time round five years ago, there are clear rules about financing the campaigns and declaring sponsors and spending. There’s a 40 million crown spending limit over the two rounds and candidates must keep transparent accounts.
Anti-corruption watchdog and good government promoter, Transparency International, has been monitoring the individual campaigns so far. Director of the Czech branch, David Ondráčka, on Monday released some of the results, saying that the intention is to give voters a heads up about spending and openness. He highlighted the trends of some of the biggest spenders, including current president, Miloš Zeman, who is seeking a second term in office:
ʺOverall spending, in our estimate, makes up around 200 million Czech crowns, which is quite a hefty sum for a relatively short campaign."
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21st January 2021
2nd December 2020