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Czech lower house asks courts to close the Equal Opportunities Party, Roma Democratic Party and others

Prague, 1.5.2014 21:11, (ROMEA)
The 2014 candidates for the European Parliament being fielded by the Equal Opportunities Party in the Czech Republic.
The 2014 candidates for the European Parliament being fielded by the Equal Opportunities Party in the Czech Republic.

The Audit Committee of the Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic has reported that while 106 political parties submitted complete annual financial reports for last year, another 56 submitted incomplete reports or none at all. The committee has asked the Government to file a motion with the Supreme Administrative Court to close the parties not in compliance.

News server Novinky.cz reports that the Equal Opportunities Party, established by Štefan Tišer and Čeněk Růžička, and the Roma Democratic Party, founded by Miroslav Tancoš, are among those listed in the motion. Tišer says his party will not be closed because it is already in the process of correcting what was just a formal mistake.    

"The accountant wrote the tax id number in the wrong column for the contribution made to us by the Green Party," Tišer told news server Romea.cz. The Audit Committee says the Roma Democratic Party never submitted a report for last year at all. 

The lower house previously proposed closing a previous incarnation of that party, the Roma Democratic Social Party, for failure to report any activity. The rest of the current motions for closure concern smaller movements and parties.

The LIDEM party, established by former Deputy Prime Minister Karolína Peake, which was part of the previous governing coalition with the ODS and TOP 09 parties, has also been proposed for closure. The core of LIDEM has transformed itself once again into a new party, VIZE 2014.

The others proposed for closure include the Czech Crown (Koruna Česká, a monarchist party in Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia) and the Movement for Sport and Health (hnutí Pro sport a zdraví) founded by former Czech Education Minister Josef Dobeš. The proposal for closure covers 13 movements and parties that never submitted financial reports and have already ceased their activities.   

The Audit Committee has also approved regulations according to which tax authorities will be advised of several illegal financial gifts made to the ANO party, the Civic Democrats (ODS), and the Czech Social Democratic Party (ČSSD). Because the parties have already returned the gifts, they will not lose their state contributions.

The gifts were most often from municipalities or municipally-owned firms. That is illegal.

While the parties might still be fined, Vladimír Koníček, chair of the Audit Committee, said their state contributions are secure because they returned the gifts. "That's how the law on political parties is written," he said.

fk, Novinky.cz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Politika, Vláda, RDS, SRP



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