Vladimir Palko, the head of the Conservative Democrats of Slovakia (KDS), said a distorted picture is emerging about the upcoming presidential race that it is a fight between just two potential candidates, the SITA newswire wrote. One of them, incumbent Ivan Gašparovič, is supposed to be the candidate of the governing coalition while Iveta Radičová is generally deemed the candidate of the opposition.
But Palko said this is far from the truth. Gašparovič is not the candidate of the entire ruling coalition, as the ĽS-HZDS is against him and is supporting another candidate. Nor is Radičová the candidate of the entire opposition. Palko explained to SITA that four political parties are represented in the parliamentary opposition, that SDKU-DS, SMK and KDH have expressed support for Radičová but that KDS supports Frantisek Mikloško.
The media picture of the supposed political orientation of the candidates before the presidential race is distorted, too, says Palko, who characterizes Gašparovič as representing post-communism, Radičová as an absolutely ideal pure liberal candidate and Mikloško as representing Christian and conservative Slovakian values. He called Zuzana Martináková a non-parliamentary copy of Radičová, a pure liberal candidate, also.
Palko warned that the scenario from five years ago was going to repeat itself. At that time the SDKÚ-DS proposed Eduard Kukan even though it was clear that due to his political past he simply could not represent all parties of the ruling coalition. According to Palko, it was hard to expect that traditional anti-communist and Christian voters would vote for him. Therefore, he failed to make it to the second round.
Palko stressed that Radičová did not present herself as a candidate who wished to unify attitudes within the opposition. He noted that in parliamentary votes she takes a strictly liberal leftist attitude and fails to make efforts to represents voters from the Christian, conservative viewpoint. For that reason Palko said it is normal and natural to send to the race a candidate representing Christian and conservative traditional attitudes. Palko stressed that if the only criteria from the beginning was who had a chance and who did not, then only Ivan Gašparovič would be able to run.
“Then we could appoint the president based on public opinion polls" Palko told SITA.
19. Jan 2009 at 17:00