Robert Fico's Smer party, which has consistently ranked as one of the two most popular parties in Slovakia behind only Vladimír Mečiar's HZDS party, selected Fedor Flašík to head the party's election campaign on August 11. Flašík is the former owner of the Donar promotion agency who ran the last HZDS campaign.
Fico said that Flašík would be in charge of the technical side of the campaign and that he would not be involved in any political decision-making. Fico then described Flašík as a man who could "turn water into Pepsi-Cola", and added that he was capable of other "Slovak miracles".
Flašík came under fire when he created a billboard for the HZDS's 1998 national election campaign which featured a mountain scene and the caption "The Country of Your Heart - Slovakia." The mountains, it was later revealed, were the Swiss Alps.
20. Aug 2001 at 0:00 | From press reports of TASR and SITA