published: 24.09.2012, 13:47 | updated: 24.09.2012 13:48:56
Prague - Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg (TOP 09) who runs for Czech president is to have 20 million crowns for his campaign, including two million he paid himself, Marek Prazak, spokesman for his election team, told CTK.
Prazak said a transparent account is available on Schwarzenberg´s election website, to which people may send their contributions.
TOP 09 whose chairman Schwarzenberg is will financially contribute to his campaign, too.
Schwarzenberg, a 74-year-old heir of an old aristocratic family, owns real estate in the Czech Republic but also Austria and Germany. He took one million crowns from the profits of his firm that administers the castle of Orlik nad Vltavou in central Bohemia and the surrounding land. The other million crowns that he earmarked for the campaign comes from his own finances.
Under the recently passed law on the Czech direct presidential election, candidates must have transparent accounts showing the origin of the money used in their campaign. The law has also set a limit of 40 million crowns for the campaign before the election´s first round.
Marek Vocel, manager of Schwarzenberg´s presidential campaign, told CTK that he would choose from several variants of the campaign that have been prepared depending on how much money would be gained for the campaign.
Lidove noviny (LN) daily writes today that the law is faulty, however. LN points out that it is unclear when the official campaign starts and that the candidates do not have to present the money they spent till the end of September.
Former socialist prime minister Milos Zeman, who is one of the election´s favourites, has billboards throughout the country and he sent leaflets to four millions of households, yet he has not had any expenses officially so far, the paper writes.
The first direct presidential election in the Czech Republic will be held early next year shortly before President Vaclav Klaus's second and last possible term expires. Until now, the president has been elected by the two houses of parliament.
Schwarzenberg is not among the favourites of the election. He said previously he would give up his post of foreign minister over the presidential contest. He added that he would have very little time for the campaign.
The currently most popular candidate is Jan Fischer, former caretaker cabinet head and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) vice president. Fischer´s biggest sponsor is steel magnate Tomas Chrenek who also owns a network of clinics. Chrenek gave nine million crowns to Fischer.
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