Fico: Post of president lacks the powers it should have

The president in Slovakia is elected directly by people and thus has a strong mandate, but the president’s role as defined in the Slovak constitution is weak, Prime Minister Robert Fico has stated on his blog on the Sme website. According to him, the current position of head of state corresponds to one which the post-holder would have if he or she were elected by parliament, the TASR newswire reported.

The president in Slovakia is elected directly by people and thus has a strong mandate, but the president’s role as defined in the Slovak constitution is weak, Prime Minister Robert Fico has stated on his blog on the Sme website. According to him, the current position of head of state corresponds to one which the post-holder would have if he or she were elected by parliament, the TASR newswire reported.

Fico added that he is “not terribly excited about it because no constitutional majority will be formed in parliament for the next 20 years that could strengthen the president through an amendment to the constitution”.

The prime minister also stated that presidential candidates have been lying throughout their candidacies by making promises about how they would change Slovakia for the better via financial, economic, social or legal spheres. He stressed that the president has no powers to affect such matters.

“All it takes to understand [this] is to read the constitution,” Fico said, as quoted by TASR, adding that the lies of the candidates are “quite sad”. However, he does not name any candidates.

In his blog post he also takes exception to what he sees as a complete lack of programme or ideas in the presidential campaigns of candidates, save one point: to run against him.

To date, only two people have so far confirmed they will run: Andrej Kiska, a charity founder who plans to run as a civic candidate; and Ján Čarnogurský, a former prime minister and former leader of the Christian Democratic Movement (KDH), who also plans to run as a civic candidate.

The next presidential election is due to take place in spring 2014. Fico is himself a potential candidate, but he has not announced any intention to run and has said that he is too busy with other issues to consider a bid.

Source: TASR

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports
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