Vote 2010: Fico accepts election defeat, returns mandate

Prime Minister Robert Fico is to return to President Ivan Gašparovič the mandate to form a new government on Wednesday, June 23. "I respect the election result," Fico said following a cabinet session on Wednesday, the SITA newswire reported.

Prime Minister Robert Fico is to return to President Ivan Gašparovič the mandate to form a new government on Wednesday, June 23. "I respect the election result," Fico said following a cabinet session on Wednesday, the SITA newswire reported.

Fico, who leads the Smer party, will announce to the president that the party's idea of a two-party coalition cannot be carried out. Smer emerged as the biggest party following the June 12 general election, in which it won 35 percent of the vote, but has been unable to find a partner with which to form a majority government.

Fico said he would resign as prime minister only after the inaugural session of the new parliament, in accordance with the constitution. The date of the inaugural session is set by the president. Fico reiterated his ambition to lead a resolute opposition.

The president will comment on the situation after meeting the leaders of the four parliamentary centre-right parties, the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ), Freedom and Solidarity (SaS), the Christian Democratic Movement (KDH) and Most-Híd, that is scheduled for early this afternoon (Wednesday, June 23). The centre-right parties presented the main ideas for a governing programme on Tuesday night. They are now seeking a mandate from the president to form a new government.

President Gašparovič asked Fico on June 14 to try to form a new government, giving him until today to do so.

Source: SITA

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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