UNSUCCESSFUL presidential candidate and founder of the Sieť party, Radoslav Procházka, who is seen as a potential leader of the centre-right in Slovakia, is facing allegations that the financing of his presidential campaign was not as transparent as he claims it to have been.

On June 2, leader of the opposition Ordinary People and Independent Personalities (OĽaNO) party Igor Matovič claimed that Procházka attempted to purchase campaign ads from the family company of Matovič, Regionpress, under the counter.

Matovič alleged in front of journalists that Procházka suggested he should pay 50-90 percent of the total sum for the desired service in cash without a receipt, the TASR newswire reported. The total sum that he should have paid in line with the real price amounted to €17,200 with VAT. The ads were to be published in an advertising newspaper delivered to households around Slovakia free of charge.

"[Procházka] requested that I should participate directly in the illegal funding of his [presidential] campaign," said Matovič, as quoted by TASR, adding that he turned the request down, and that the transaction between the two was then carried out legally.

Matovič admitted he had no witnesses to prove his allegations, as Procházka made his request in a private discussion, but he challenged Procházka to undergo a polygraph test.

"If it's proven that I've made it all up, I'll leave politics for good," said Matovič, adding that if the opposite is proved, he expects Procházka to leave instead.

It is not the first time Procházka has been put under pressure over his campaign financing. Officially, he declared his campaign cost €250,000, which political transparency watchdogs called improbable unless he received big discounts from the campaigning services, the Sme daily reported.

In response to Matovič allegations, Procházka claimed he would take the lie-detector test along with the head of his campaign, Martin Dubéci. In line with the invoices, Procházka paid a total of €17,224, including VAT worth €2,870, for ads in the papers of the Regionpress publishing house, Dubéci told journalists, as reported by TASR.

“We didn't pay anything beyond the price, nor did we attempt to suggest this," said Dubéci.

Source: TASR, Sme

Compiled by Michaela Terenzani from press reports.
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information
presented in its Flash News postings.