Zeman Breaks Another Promise – Covers Prague in Campaign Posters

Prague, Dec 28 (CTK) – New posters displayed all over Prague are promoting the re-election of the incumbent Czech President Milos Zeman, while he has received almost four million crowns for his campaign from three sponsors recently.


Billboards with the same slogan appeared in the Czech Republic in the past weeks, along with leaflets in support of Zeman delivered to the voters’ mailboxes.


Yet Zeman has repeatedly assured voters that he will not lead any campaign. This is why he also refuses to take part in pre-election debates of the presidential candidates for which his rivals criticise him.


The new posters feature an older photograph of Zeman with a caption reading “Zeman Again in 2018”, along with his election number and a picture of Prague Castle, the presidential seat, covered with snow.


The posters were ordered by the extra-parliamentary Party of Citizens’ Rights (SPO) and they were made by the Friends of Milos Zeman association.


Zeman founded the SPO, which was originally called the SPOZ bearing his name, and he was heading it for some time. He si still its honorary chairman. The party organised the collecting of citizens’ signatures for his presidential bid.


The new posters resemble the previous billboards that the Friends of Milos Zeman had displayed at the beginning of December.


Zeman’s spokesman Jiri Ovcacek said Zeman knew about it and that the costs would be included in the accounting under the law on election funding.


Ovcacek told CTK today, commenting on the posters, that “this is the same situation as in the case of the billboards.” Zeman keeps denying this being his campaign.


The sum in his election account has been increasing, too, considerably.


He got two million crowns from the DAKO-CZ firm, part of the Czechoslovak Group holding of arms producer Jaroslav Strnad. The Composite Components firm, owned by Petr Rusek, donated another million to Zeman. Rusek is chairman of the board of the Tatra Trucks, which is part of Strnad’s holding. On Wednesday, Zeman received 900,000 crowns from Jan Nekola, while a man with the same name and residence is behind the NKL Zofin agency.


Consequently, Zeman has almost 4.4 million crowns in his election account.


Former Science Academy chairman Jiri Drahos has still the highest sum of seven million crowns in his account. He has received more than 32 million crowns from his supporters and sponsors for his campaign.


Another distinctive presidential candidate, businessman and lyricist Michal Horacek, pays his campaign from his own pockets. According to his transparent account, he has spent some 24.5 million crowns.


Former Civic Democrat (ODS) chairman and ex-PM Mirek Topolanek has collected some eight million crowns, former ambassador to France Pavel Fischer 5.3 million crowns and Skoda Auto former board chairman Vratislav Kulhanek almost six million crowns.


Physician and activist Marek Hilser has some 650,000 crowns in his account, Defence and Security Industry Association President Jiri Hynek, running for the Realists marginal party, has 300,000 crowns, while musician Petr Hannig, head of the marginal Reasonable party, has collected 4,500 crowns.