REPLACING the Constitutional Court’s leadership, active protection of water and land as strategic resources and moving a portion of the president’s administration from Bratislava to Banská Bystrica were among the key points in the election programme presented by independent MP and presidential candidate Radoslav Procházka on December 9. The programme is called “A Strong President”.

“Slovakia needs a strong president who will take care of the needs and interests of people, who will be an active part of executive power,” Procházka said, as quoted by the TASR newswire, adding that this is the reason why he wants to “focus on exercising that power, the active service”.

Among the first steps Procházka wants to take if elected president is to bring order to the relationships between the institutions that form the state apparatus. In this respect, he referred to the replacement of the Constitutional Court’s leaders, as the Constitutional Court “has much harmed its reputation as an institution that should be independent from the governing majority, and which should ‘control the state’ and protect the people from the negative impact of the partocratic system”, Procházka explained, as reported by TASR.

He also mentioned he would introduce a monthly government session with the active participation of the president, as well as a quarterly presidential evaluation of the way in which the government carries out its programme statement, and he would appoint ambassadors based on their expertise.

The second point on the programme is “active protection”, which means support for domestic companies, protection from bureaucratic bullying and the protection of drinking water and the soil as resources of strategic importance.

“Once again, this has a lot to do with the unofficial strong standing of a president who does not view his or her office only as a means towards a peaceful end to their political life,” Procházka said, as quoted by TASR.

His plans also involve moving part of his office’s administration from Bratislava to Banská Bystrica and Košice with the aim of “exercising my mandate there at least one week per month and actively engaging in meetings with citizens”, TASR wrote.

The presidential election is slated for the spring 2014. Procházka will run against Pavol Hrušovský, backed by the Christian Democratic Movement (KDH) and Most-Híd, entrepreneur and philanthropist Andrej Kiska, first-ever KDH chairman and party founder Ján Čarnogurský, Freedom and Solidarity MP Peter Osuský, Košice pensioner Leonid Chovanec, civic candidates Jozef Behýl, Milan Melník, Ľubica Blašková, and mayor of Rimavská Sobota Jozef Šimko. Actor and former politician Milan Knažko also announced his candidacy recently.

The governing Smer-SD party has not declared its candidate yet, TASR wrote.

Source: TASR

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports

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