Elections in Český Těšín
In early January 2011, municipal elections were repeated in the entire city of Český Těšín owing to massive vote buying in the original October 2010 elections, which had a significant impact on the overall election results.
TIC representatives participated in the January repeat election in Český Těšín as observers. Similarly to other cities where vote buying occurred, the parties and individuals behind the bribery in Český Těšín secured the investment they had made in the October 2010 elections. During the entire repeat election day, TIC observers recorded testimony by citizens who described their personal experiences with election manipulation. Based on this testimony and other personal observations, TIC reached the conclusion that extensive vote buying took place in favour of several political parties, just as it had in the original municipal council election.
Although several election participants submitted objections about the elections to the Regional Court in Ostrava, the court’s decision stated that there was no proof that votes had actually been bought. The entire issue was activated by a group of local citizens who asked the TIC Legal Advisory Centre to review the election law amendment petition they had prepared. The group managed to obtain several hundred signatures on the petition and the petition with signatures was handed over to representatives of the petition committee of the Chair of the Constitutional Legal Committee, Mgr. Karolína Peake, in late April 2011. In early May 2011, TIC held two public debates in Český Těšín, the first in the Noiva reading room and literary café and the second with students in the high school with Polish language instruction. Both debates focused primarily on the issue of vote buying in municipal elections.