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Opposition to discuss NKÚ chair candidate on Wednesday

Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) party chairman Richard Sulík has invited representatives of the People's Platform - Slovak Democratic and Christian union (SDKÚ), Christian Democratic Movement (KDH) and Most-Híd - to discuss the situation surrounding a new candidate for the post of the Supreme Audit Office (NKÚ) chair on Wednesday, April 10, the TASR newswire learned.

Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) party chairman Richard Sulík has invited representatives of the People's Platform - Slovak Democratic and Christian union (SDKÚ), Christian Democratic Movement (KDH) and Most-Híd - to discuss the situation surrounding a new candidate for the post of the Supreme Audit Office (NKÚ) chair on Wednesday, April 10, the TASR newswire learned.

A candidate for the post, which has traditionally been assigned to opposition nominees, is supposed to come from the ranks of SaS, according to an agreement between the aforementioned parties. SaS had already nominated two candidates, Kamil Krnáč nor Vladimír Klimeš, but neither managed to garner unanimous opposition support in parliament, and thereby failed to be elected, as the Smer party, which has an 83-seat majority in parliament, conditioned its support on complete backing from the five opposition parties, the other being Ordinary People and Independent Personalities (OĽaNO).

In addition, Prime Minister Robert Fico last week suggested that the parties hold a discussion on matter with Smer. Fico even came up with three names that he believed to be suitable for the post, which has been vacant for more than a year, and offered Smer's backing for whichever candidate the opposition parties choose. These include former Statistics Office head Peter Mach (KDH), former Public Procurement Office (ÚVO) chairman Béla Angyal (Most-Híd) and former Slovak Intelligence Service (SIS) director Karol Mitrík (SDKÚ).

According to Most-Híd’s Béla Bugár, the People's Platform has no objections to Smer's invitation, provided the talks are meaningful. Bugár also observed that even though Fico asserted last year that the post of the NKÚ chairman belongs to the opposition, Smer has been ordering its MPs not to provide more than ten votes in the secret parliamentary ballot for the NKÚ head. The opposition, which has 67 seats in Parliament, needs at least nine votes from Smer legislators in order for an opposition-nominated candidate to be elected.

Legerdemain is not the way SDKÚ plays politics; it has always observed all the opposition agreements and its MPs have always voted for the joint opposition candidate for the post of NKÚ head, said SDKÚ vice-chairman Viliam Novotný on Monday, reacting to a recent statement by Premier Fico, in which he accused SDKÚ chairman Pavol Frešo of scuppering the previous NKÚ head's secret ballot vote in parliament. Novotný asserted that his party is ready to propose a public election procedure. He denied, according to TASR, Fico's allegations that Frešo approached him several times with a request to prevent the two SaS candidates from being elected to the post. Novotný also refuted claims made earlier in the day by SaS caucus head Juraj Miškov that SDKÚ would like to see Novotný's assistant, Ján Rusňák, nominated for the post. Novotný stated that he made an obvious joke some six months ago that his assistant may want to stand as a candidate when speaking with Miškov, but told the journalists that Miškov must have failed to get the joke.

(Source: SITA)
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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