Czech Election Scandal: Interior Ministry Admits Problem, will Investigate

Voter casting ballot

Prague, Nov 20 (CTK) – The Czech Interior Ministry will make a check to see how electoral commissions observed laws during the recent general election, and it will draft an election code to unify the rules for all types of elections, it said today, reacting to a serious election discrepancy unveiled by court.


The Supreme Administrative Court (NSS) decided on Sunday, after recounting preferential votes, that Martin Kupka (Civic Democrats, ODS) failed to enter the Chamber of Deputies in the October due to a wrong counting of preferential votes by some electoral commissions in Central Bohemia.


Kupka in fact did win a deputy’s mandate, the NSS said, ordering that he become a deputy instead of Petr Bendl (ODS).


The NSS recommended that the Interior Ministry and parliament react to the uncovered flaws.


As possible measures, it mentioned a unified code for all types of elections, a more professional control of the election procedures and refraining from the practice of printing candidates’ names on both sides of ballot papers.


The Interior Ministry said it will make a thorough check of the observance of the law on parliamentary elections and other laws by electoral commissions in individual wards and towns, Deputy Interior Minister Petr Mlsna said in a press release.


The ministry will also try to secure the printing of names on one side of ballot papers only, he said.


The Interior Ministry is in charge of organising and preparing elections and supervising their course.


The Czech Statistical Office (CSU) trains members of local election commissions in ascertaining and processing the voting results.


The ministry said it will see, together with the CSU, to that the methodic support improves and the training of electoral commission members becomes more effective.


“The Interior Ministry will submit a draft election code to unify the rules for all types of elections,” Mlsna said.