Administrative blunder knocks Freedom Union out of regional elections in Karlovy Vary

03-09-2004

The election campaign to this November's regional and Senate elections is now in full swing and the three parties of the Czech governing coalition are determined to improve their reputation following their humiliating defeat in the Euro elections this summer. However candidates for the right wing Freedom Union in the west Bohemian town of Karlovy Vary are ready to quit even before the elections have got underway.

Karlovy VaryKarlovy Vary Some mistakes are of the kind that come back to haunt you in your dreams for years. For Lucie Simova, the manager of the Freedom Union's office in Karlovy Vary, August 30th is a day that will remain firmly etched in her mind. She single-handedly dashed any hopes Freedom Union candidates may have harboured of winning posts in the Karlovy Vary regional elections when in a moment of absent-mindedness, she handed in the official list of candidates to the wrong institution - the Office of Karlovy Vary road management instead of the Regional Administration Office located just 100 metres away. The Freedom Union thus missed the deadline by which all parties had to enter their list of candidates to the elections. "I regret to say that due to a human failing the Freedom Union will not be able to compete in regional elections in Karlovy Vary" the party's chairman for the Karlovy Vary region told the media. The person responsible for this costly blunder was his own wife, who immediately resigned from her post.

Left watching from the sidelines, the party's candidates are trying hard not to cry over spilt milk. "What's done is done," senator Jan Hadrava told the media, adding that he was sorry for the lost potential. There is a small chink of light at the end of the tunnel - the party will try to get an exemption from the official deadline from the regional court, on the grounds that the entire party should not be made to suffer for the fault of one administrative worker. However, the hopes of clemency are minimal - and party officials are the first to admit that rules are made to be observed.

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