Czech Republic: NGOs say vote-buying will repeat this year in excluded localities
The NGOs Foundation against Corruption (Nadační fond proti korupci - NFPK), Our Politicians (Naši politici - NP), Oživení (Renewal) and Transparency International are monitoring the manipulation of the upcoming local and Senate elections. "We have clear indications that both vote-buying and the intentional relocation of voters will be taking place in the upcoming elections," representatives of these organizations said today.
Both vote-buying and the relocation of voters took place during the last municipal elections, particularly in areas with large numbers of excluded localities. The areas concerned were primarily in northern Bohemia and northern Moravia (Bohy, Český Těšín, Jirkov, Kadaň, Karlova Studánka, Krupka, Roudnice nad Labem, etc.).
"According to our findings so far, manipulation of the elections will also occur in other places around the Czech Republic this year. We are following these localities and we will be carefully monitoring them during the polling. Vote-buying is a crime, but that does not deter the organizers of vote-buying from such activities. It is very difficult to prove electoral corruption and the police prosecute the bare minimum of those who break the law," the NGOs said.
The ambition of the joint activities of the four NGOs is not just to map vote-buying and warn of the extent of this phenomenon, but to propose measures to minimize it in future. "We call on all citizens who observe anything suspicious in connection with this year's polls to contact us immediately. All of the relevant findings will be used after the elections, either to file criminal reports or to propose the elections be reviewed," the NGOs said, adding that the results of their monitoring will be presented at a press conference immediately after the municipal elections have ended on 13 October.
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