Iveta Radičová can derive some satisfaction from the presidential election result, as the distance between her and her opponent was much smaller than had been indicated by surveys, political scientist László Öllős.
“As for the future, the methods that were used in the campaign will be repeated – which means quite a big problem for Slovakia,” he told the SITA newswire, adding that President Ivan Gašparovič’s negative campaign – “which means spreading false information and playing the Hungarian card” – will continue.
Playing ‘the Hungarian card’ refers, in Slovak political parlance, to politicians exploiting Slovak-speaking voters’ fears and prejudices about the Hungarian-speaking community in Slovakia, and about neighbouring Hungary.
Öllős criticised Gašparovič’s attitude towards the media, pointing out that journalists from the Nový Čas daily (Slovakia’s biggest-selling) and the .týždeň weekly were not allowed into the president’s election centre. According to Őllös, a politician must accept that the press will be critical towards him, SITA reported.
Öllős predicted that Gašparovič’s connection with the Smer party will come out into the open more after the election.
“The president seemed like part of the government and actually like a partisan president, and the citizens of Slovakia accepted this and he will continue to be president in this manner.”
Compiled by Michaela Stanková and Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
5. Apr 2009 at 13:00