Prime Minister Robert Fico offered the opposition three potential candidates of his own for the post of Supreme Audit Office (NKÚ) chairman on Wednesday, April 3.
Fico, while saying that it is up to the opposition to put forward candidates for the NKÚ, nevertheless proposed former Statistics Office head Peter Mach, former Public Procurement Office (ÚVO) chairman Béla Angyal and former Slovak Intelligence Service head Karol Mitrík. "It should be a candidate coming from one of the standard opposition political parties. I'm talking about the Christian Democratic Movement (KDH), the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ) and Most-Híd here," Fico said, as reported by the TASR newswire, indicating that the names he had proposed fitted the bill.
The prime minister said Mach is close to the KDH, Mitrík is close to the SDKÚ, and Angyal is close to Most-Híd. He said that if the candidates he has proposed are unacceptable to the opposition parties and they do not come up with their own joint candidate, he would “employ a selection procedure used in the past by the government of Iveta Radičová”. He defended his use of such an ultimatum by saying: "Because otherwise the condition that the NKÚ belongs to the opposition would not be met". All the opposition’s candidates to date have failed to gain the unanimous support of all opposition MPs and Fico’s Smer party has used this as a reason not to provide the support that would be needed to elect any candidate.
The opposition Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) party on Wednesday called on Fico to stop meddling in opposition relations and instead start honouring his own agreements and focus on tackling the real problems of Slovakia such as the recent record-breaking growth in unemployment.
"Once again, Smer chair and Premier Robert Fico showed his true colours as a politician who doesn't honour agreements,” read the SaS statement. “Under the original opposition agreement, the right to nominate a candidate for the NKÚ chair belonged to SaS. Ever since day one, however, it was clear that based on the parliamentary maths, Smer votes will be needed in order to have the SaS nominee elected. SaS put forth two capable candidates: Kamil Krnáč and Vladimír Klimeš, neither of whom was elected by parliament. It was apparent already back then that this very Prime Minister Fico – whose mouth was full of nice talk after the election about how opposition nominees would be allowed to take over the supervisory bodies in the country – doesn't keep his promises."
SaS maintains that Smer MPs failed to provide support for an opposition candidate, regardless of the fact that no relevant objections existed against either person. "Now Robert Fico comes with the absurd idea that he will dictate to the opposition who he can envisage heading the NKÚ," said the party, adding that such conduct represents blackmail, denial of the opposition's right to choose its own candidate and an attempt to erode relations among the opposition parties. SaS also took objection to Fico dividing the opposition into ‘standard’ and ‘non-standard’ parties.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
4. Apr 2013 at 10:00