THE POLICE have started a criminal investigation of persons who collected signatures for the petition that was used to register the 99 Percent – Civic Voice party so that it could run candidates in the March 10 parliamentary elections. The Police Corps announced the step after it said that more than 200 signatures from the petition were found to have false data. The SITA newswire reported that if the police find fewer than 10,000 authentic signatures the party may not be permitted to compete in the upcoming election.
“They [members of the 99 Percent movement] should thank us for this,” stated Police Corps President Jaroslav Spišiak, as quoted by SITA.
Spišiak said all 15,000 signatures on the petition would be checked and that among those checked already it had been ascertained that ID card numbers did not match some of signatories’ names and that some signatories were recorded as having died, the TASR newswire wrote. Spišiak added that the police would specify the exact number of real and falsified signatures after they had completed their investigation.
The request for the police to examine the 99 Percent party’s petition was filed with the Interior Ministry by Nová generácia, the youth wing of the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ), which claimed that the party had violated the law by forging and buying citizens’ signatures, SITA wrote.
Ivan Weiss, a member and reportedly a financial sponsor of the new party, told the media that he believes the police investigation was initiated by politicians and that the police are trying to “influence the results” of the election. The Sme daily also reported that Weiss said the signatures should be checked through graphology analysis rather than by comparing the names on the petition against various databases.
Moreover, Weiss said that someone must have “manipulated” their papers after they filed them with the Interior Ministry.
He added that the party was ready to question what happened to the petition after it was given to the ministry and then moved to the police for the investigation into the veracity of the signatures, the TASR newswire reported.