Fico and Sulík clash over referendum

Speaker of the Slovak Parliament Richard Sulík (Freedom and Solidarity (SaS)) will face a no-confidence vote in parliament, Smer leader and former prime minister Robert Fico said at a press conference in Bratislava on August 25.

Speaker of the Slovak Parliament Richard Sulík (Freedom and Solidarity (SaS)) will face a no-confidence vote in parliament, Smer leader and former prime minister Robert Fico said at a press conference in Bratislava on August 25.

Fico said his party was proposing the motion mainly because of Sulík’s party’s approach to the referendum planned for September 18 (which was initiated by SaS), as well as for what Fico called a host of other transgressions. “What Mr. Sulík is doing is gravely endangering the legal system and he is seriously degrading democracy. Smer cannot respect the parliamentary chairman being a person who mistakes his actions in politics with irresponsible fun,” Fico told the TASR newswire.

He criticised SaS for failing to nominate its representative on the Central Electoral Commission (ÚVK) which is managing the September 18 referendum. He added that out of 50 regional electoral commissions, SaS had put forward nominees in only five. In district commissions, however, the party has a representative on each one. “It could be because it is only them (district commission representatives) that are paid for this activity,” Fico said. He criticised Sulík for reportedly telling news portal Aktualne.sk that SaS considers the district representatives to be important because they can influence the counting of votes.

“I would like to thank Smer chairman and former prime minister Robert Fico for promoting the referendum, and I hope this will help to attract more voters,” Sulík said in response to Fico’s criticism. “We have nominated more than 6,000 people to the district commissions. We have nominated them because it is necessary to oversee the referendum precisely at this level,” said Sulík, who admitted he might have used the word “influence” when speaking about the importance of district representatives because they can contribute to the control of the referendum. Sulík said he used the word to mean that they can “oversee the referendum so that nobody will be able to manipulate the results”. He said it was “moving” how much Fico cares about who holds the second-highest political office in the country, a reference to his own job of speaker.

Sulík also commented on his party’s nominations to regional commissions. “Out of 50 regional electoral commissions, we have nominated our people in only five. Based on our experience from the last three elections we know that these commissions are not crucial for the final results, therefore we placed those people who would have been in the regional to the district commissions,” he explained, adding that SaS had erred when it came to the party’s nomination to the Central Electoral Commission (UVK). “Alas, we didn’t make it on time,” he admitted.

Source: TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

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