published: 25.01.2013, 16:39 | updated: 25.01.2013 16:41:42
Sykorice - The vote of Czech presidential candidate Karel Schwarzenberg in the election´s run-off today is invalid as he did not put his ballot paper in the official envelope before casting it in the box, which can be seen in photos from the polling station.
Schwarzenberg, 75, foreign minister and conservative TOP 09 chairman, eventually confirmed his mistake.
"The [camera] flashes dazzled my eyes, which is something I hate. It always makes my eyes ache," Schwarzenberg told journalists.
He admitted it was an error on his part.
"Such things happen now and then. It would be worse if I broke my leg," Schwarzenberg said.
It would be "awkward" if he lost to his rival, former socialist prime minister Milos Zeman, 68, by the difference of a single vote, he said, smiling.
After Schwarzenberg left the polling station, members of his election team protested against an advertisement that appeared in the tabloid Blesk today and that calls on voters not to support Schwarzenberg. It warns against what it presents as Schwarzenberg´s views on the post-war developments in Czechoslovakia, including the Benes Decrees on the basis of which ethnic Germans were transferred from the country and their property was confiscated.
Schwarzenberg´s team believes that the advertisement has violated the election law and possibly amounts to alarm mongering, the team´s spokesman Marek Prazak said.
The election team of Zeman (small Citizens´ Rights Party, SPOZ) has dissociated from the advertisement and said they have nothing in common with it.
The advertisement headlined "Don´t vote for Karel Schwarzenberg," also "cites" Schwarzenberg as saying that under the present law, the post-war Czechoslovak president Edvard Benes would face The Hague tribunal for war criminals, that the post-war transfer of Germans from Czechoslovakia was unjust and that the Benes Decrees are invalid.
The post-war legislation and the transfer of ethnic Germans from Czechoslovakia were one of the leading topics in the election campaign before the January 25-26 presidential run-off vote.
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