ELECTIONS: Former PM Dzurinda says Radičová is a symbol of change

Mikuláš Dzurinda, the leader of the opposition Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ) party believes that the success of Iveta Radičová, the joint opposition candidate, in progressing to the second round of the presidential elections could help Slovakia.

Mikuláš Dzurinda, the leader of the opposition Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ) party believes that the success of Iveta Radičová, the joint opposition candidate, in progressing to the second round of the presidential elections could help Slovakia.

After counting all the votes from 5,919 election precincts, Ivan Gašparovič finished first with 46.70 percent of the votes and Iveta Radičová was second with 38.05 percent. Gašparovič thus collected 876,061 votes while 713,735 eligible voters wanted to see Radičová moving to the presidential palace, according to the official results that the Central Election Commission announced at 10:00 on March 22.

Radičová could serve as a mediator between the governing coalition and the opposition parties and inspire a dialogue about the best solutions during this the time of crisis, the SITA newswire reported Dzurinda as saying.

Dzurinda said there is a need for a serious president to call upon the political parties to start such a dialogue and to eliminate the barriers the opposition feels on the part of the coalition parties so that both sides would be able to talk and offer solutions to the Slovak people, as there is no difference between right and left, between the supporters of SDKÚ and Smer in these times of crisis.

According to Dzurinda, Radičová is a symbol of change and people should vote for her because she can change the situation and then the governing coalition will start listening to the opposition, SITA reported.

The fact that the opposition is a minority in the parliament does not mean they do not have good ideas, but currently they are unable to initiate the necessary dialogue, Dzurinda said, adding that the president has instruments at hand to initiate such a dialogue.

Dzurinda expressed his distress about the efforts of current Prime Minister Robert Fico to usurp power at any costs, including his refusal of dialogue with the opposition. In Dzurinda’s opinion, refusing to consider opposition proposals is Fico’s major mistake, SITA wrote.

Radičová was nominated as a candidate for the presidential election by SDKÚ, with the support of parliamentary deputies from the Christian Democrat party, the Hungarian Coalition Party and the Civic Conservative Party. However, she also ran her campaign as a civic candidate as she also collected the required number of petitioners among citizens required for the candidacy.

Radičová suspended her deputy-chairmanship within SDKÚ before the start of the presidential campaign and she has announced that she will leave the party in the event she is elected president, SITA reported.

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