PRESIDENTIAL candidate, actor and one of the leaders of the Velvet Revolution Milan Kňažko has called on philanthropist Andrej Kiska, who is also running for the post, to stage a debate. Kňažko said that if marketing, billboards and ads were all that it took in a presidential campaign, then the new president of the Slovak Republic would be some popular brand of washing powder, the TASR newswire reported on February 20.

“Today, we have a candidate with ideas differing sharply from those of the other candidates; we also have democratic candidates and a billboard one [Kiska],” Kňažko said, as quoted by TASR. “I would like to challenge him to come down from the billboards and start debating with me because the arguments he presents, even if perhaps true, are not accurate.”

He claims that Kiska is avoiding a debate with him. He stated as an example Kiska’s absence from a discussion at a bookstore on SNP Square in Bratislava. Moreover, the philanthropist declined an offer to debate with other candidates at Trend economic weekly on February 20. Kiska will also not participate in discussions at the Pastoral Centre in Bratislava set for February 24 and March 5, as reported by TASR.

Kňažko considers such behaviour in a presidential election undemocratic. The remaining candidates are taking part in the discussions, save Prime Minister Robert Fico, who had declared in advance that he does not feel the need to debate with anyone.

Kiska responded he will meet with his rivals in televised discussions.

“The joint discussions of all candidates, including prime minister, will be in few days and I am looking forward to them,” Kiska wrote in a written statement, as quoted by TASR.

He added he does not want to be “drawn into nonsensical fights of traditional politicians”.

Source: TASR

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports

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