Monday, 23 October 2017

TI: Greens, Pirates have most transparent campaign funding

ČTK |
13 October 2017

Prague, Oct 12 (CTK) - The Czech Greens and Pirates have the most transparent funding of the campaign before the October 20-21 general election out of the selected parties running in it, the Transparency International (TI) corruption watchdog said on Thursday.

It also assessed the campaigns of the Mayors and Independents (STAN) and TOP 09 positively.

On the contrary, the least transparent are the campaigns of the Party of Citizens' Rights (SPO), according to TI.

However, it also pointed to unclear funding of the campaign of the Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD) movement of Tomio Okamura, the Realists and the Free Citizens.

The SPD challenged the TI assessment.

On the basis of several criteria, TI has made rankings of 13 parties, which have the highest chances in the upcoming election according to polls.

TI assessed the possibility to follow up the planned campaign expenditures, movements in the transparent accounts, the structure of the parties's incomes, the use of various communication channels and cooperation with volunteers and third persons.

TI Czech branch director David Ondracka said the organisation's assessment went beyond what the the law on funding of political parties required.

"If the campaign is not transparent in terms of sponsors and relations to media agencies, there is a clear connection with subsequent potential corruption in state governance," he said.

TI intentionally releases its assessment of the parties' campaign funding before the general election though the campaign has not ended yet and a steep rise in the expenditures can be expected these days.

"Our target is to influence the behaviour of the players in the political market and contribute to the maximum openness," Ondracka said.

Despite objections to the transparency of some parties, the situation in this respect is considerably better than several years ago when the parties released only gross estimates of their planned costs at most, Ondracka said.

"The parties are under much stronger pressure and they often voluntarily release more than they have to and try to promote openness in their favour. They know that problems with their campaign funding or hidden sponsors can be very unpleasant for them in the last weeks before elections," he said.

Assessment of transparency of election campaign funding

Party Rating
Greens 1.1
Pirates 1.1
STAN 1.5
TOP 09 1.6
KSCM 2.1
CSSD 2.3
ODS 2.5
KDU-CSL 2.6
ANO 2.7
Free Citizens 3.1
Realists 3.1
SPD 3.2
SPO 3.6
Source: Transparency International

CSSD - Social Democrats

ODS - Civic Democrats

KDU-CSL - Christian Democrats

KSCM - Communists

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