SOME politicians who have announced their running in the presidential election complained about the election date of March 15.

Speaker of Parliament Pavol Paška announced the date one day after PM Robert Fico announced his candidacy. The date means that the deadline for submitting petitions with signatures for those candidates who want to run as independent, is on January 9.

To be able to run, a candidate needs to be backed by the signatures of 15 MPs, or 15,000 citizens.

This complicates matters for some candidates who still haven’t collected all the 15,000 signatures needed to run.

“The fact that we have to collect 15,000 signatures during the holiday season has been well planned in the headquarters of Smer in my opinion,” József Berényi, head of the Party of Hungarian Community (SMK) which is not represented in the parliament and thus its candidate Gyula Bárdos must submit the petition with signatures of citizens, said as quoted by the TASR newswire. “It is an unfair and very incorrect step not only towards us, but also towards all candidates. This way they want to push us out of the presidential election.”

Two parliamentary parties who are officially not supporting any of the candidates, Nova and the Ordinary People and Independent Personalities (OĽaNO), offered Bárdos and another candidate, Milan Kňažko, to provide 15 signatures of their MPs for them in order to enable them to run.

Bardos accepted the offer, the TASR newswire reported on December 22, but SMK will continue collecting citizens’ signatures for the candidacy.

SDKU MPs Ľudovít Kaník, Jozef Mikuš, Ivan Štefanec, and Viliam Novotný, signed the petition for Bardos too. The latter three also signed the petition of Kňažko. They claimed their signatures do not mean support for the respective candidates, but rather a contribution to allow the candidates to participate in the election. SDKÚ officially backs Pavol Hrušovský of KDH.

Source: TASR

Compiled by Michaela Terenzani from press reports
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