NEWS IN SHORT

Presidential race heats up

TWO LEADING candidates in next month's presidential election, the incumbent Ivan Gašparovič and the joint opposition candidate Iveta Radičová, have made direct attacks on each other.

TWO LEADING candidates in next month's presidential election, the incumbent Ivan Gašparovič and the joint opposition candidate Iveta Radičová, have made direct attacks on each other.

On February 18, Radičová delivered a tough critique of the president's address to parliament the day before. He used his right to present a State of the Republic report to parliament for the first time since 2006 and addressed MPs at their last session before the presidential election.

Radičová criticised her main rival for what she called inactivity, describing his speech as nothing but a 'commentary' that offered no solutions, the SITA newswire reported.

Gašparovič immediately responded via a press conference in which he rejected Radičová's call for him to be more active, saying he possessed no powers to initiative legislation.

“I have to state that Mrs Radičová probably hasn’t read our constitution yet, because she doesn’t know what the powers of the head of the state are,” he said, as quoted by the Sme daily.

Radičová said she believed these things are better discussed face to face and challenged Gašparovič to a debate on television.

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