Prague, (CTK) – An appeal calling for a check of the financing of the campaign for President Milos Zeman’s re-election has appeared in the Czech Republic, with a former intelligence service head, former diplomats and heads of the humanitarian and human rights groups People in Need and Post Bellum among the signatories.
Zeman will face academic Jiri Drahos in the election runoff due on January 26-27. Their chances seem approximately the same, according to the latest public opinion polls.
Apart from the appeal demanding the campaign’s check, appeals in support of Zeman or Drahos have appeared on social networks.
Drahos has been backed by a number of celebrities from the sports and culture areas, including ice hockey legend Dominik Hasek, former top football player Vladimir Smicer and Miss World Tatana Kucharova.
Zeman’s supporters include former president Vaclav Klaus, popular film maker Zdenek Troska, composer and pop singer Michal David and truck racer Karel Loprais.
The signatories of the appeal demanding the check of Zeman’s campaign financing, released on the European Values website, point out that he officially wages no campaign and billboards and advertisements have been paid for him by the Friends of Milos Zeman association and the minor Party of Citizens’ Rights (SPO). It is impossible to ascertain where the money came from, which the appeal calls a circumvention of law.
At the same time, it points to Zeman’s adviser Martin Nejedly’s links to Russia.
Nejedly is behind the Friends of Milos Zeman association and is a SPO deputy chairman, the signatories write, adding that the Moscow headquarters of the Lukoil company has covered the debt of the company’s Czech branch, formerly headed by Nejedly.
The signatories call on Zeman to identify all his sponsors. They demand that the government ask intelligence services for information about the presidential campaign financing.
Apart from former intelligence service (UZSI) head Petr Zeman, the appeal has been signed by People in Need head Simon Panek, Post Bellum head Mikulas Kroupa, former ambassador to the USA and Russia Petr Kolar, former defence minister and former ambassador to Russia Lubos Dobrovsky and other personalities.