published: 19.02.2013, 11:19 | updated: 19.02.2013 11:38:07
Brno - The Czech Supreme Administrative Court (NSS) did not comply with any of the 109 complaints about the first direct presidential election, turning down the last of three of them today, which confirmed Milos Zeman's victory.
In theory, the unsuccessful complainants can still turn to the Constitutional Court (US), but their petitions cannot have any direct influence on Zeman's inauguration on March 8.
The NSS dismissed 64 complaints primarily on the grounds that the complainant did not meet the deadline to challenge the result prescribed by law.
The judges rejected another group of complaints for technical reasons.
The court panel examined the arguments raised by 24 complaints. Although it found violation of law in some cases, it did not abolish the election as the found problems could not influence the final result.
Leftist candidate Zeman defeated conservative Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg with a margin of almost 500,000 votes in the second round.
Zeman was elected by 54.8 percent of Czechs in the runoff vote on January 26.
A number of complaints pointed to the campaign. The complainants said that Zeman had used false, xenophobic and nationalistic arguments in it.
The panel acknowledged that some of Zeman's statements could have been perceived as incorrect, demagogic and even false.
However, this was not as serious as to cancel the election, the court ruled.
The NSS said in democratic conditions it was usual that candidates and their followers use both positive and negative campaigns, in which emotive and exaggerated arguments were used.
Elections can be called invalid only in exceptional cases in which one serious illegal act or a series of less serious illegal acts could reverse the final result, the judges said.
The court dealt with an ad in the Blesk tabloid that presented sharp attacks on Schwarzenberg on the eve of the election day.
The court ruled that the link of the person that commissioned the ad with Zeman's team had not been proven.
As further problematic elements of the campaign the court named the dissemination of false information that Schwarzenberg had forced a woman out of her flat in the estate he owned as well as the attempts at linking his family with fascist and Nazi movements.
"The court has found that these were really false statements and lies," court spokeswoman Sylva Dostalova said on Monday.
"It came to the conclusion that during the election campaign, there were illegal acts able to influence the election result, but not in such an intensive way that could change the final result," Dostalova said.
Complaints about the election were raised by some prominent personalities such as Olympic winner Vera Caslavska and documentary film-maker Olga Sommerova.
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