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Čarnogurský collects 21,000 signatures for presidential bid

Prospective presidential candidate Ján Čarnogurský has managed to collect 21,000 signatures of citizens, but plans to continue collecting them and hand them over to parliament in September. Čarnogurský, former Slovak prime minister and prominent Christian Democratic Movement (KDH) politician, told the SITA newswire that he sees domestic political strength and a halt to the “internal Cold War” between the national political parties as being pivotal in helping the nation. He opined that the president should help unite the political scene, rather than divide it. As for foreign policy, he stressed the importance of improving its international ties eastwards, towards Russia, Ukraine and maybe China. Čarnogurský did not specify how much his campaign is expected to cost, adding that he is ready to vie for financial contributions from the private sector.

Prospective presidential candidate Ján Čarnogurský has managed to collect 21,000 signatures of citizens, but plans to continue collecting them and hand them over to parliament in September. Čarnogurský, former Slovak prime minister and prominent Christian Democratic Movement (KDH) politician, told the SITA newswire that he sees domestic political strength and a halt to the “internal Cold War” between the national political parties as being pivotal in helping the nation. He opined that the president should help unite the political scene, rather than divide it. As for foreign policy, he stressed the importance of improving its international ties eastwards, towards Russia, Ukraine and maybe China. Čarnogurský did not specify how much his campaign is expected to cost, adding that he is ready to vie for financial contributions from the private sector.

Businessman Andrej Kiska, independent MP Radoslav Procházka and Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) MP Peter Osuskýalso have also announced their presidential candidacies. Former actor and politician Milan Kňažko is considering running for president as well, according to SITA.

The Sme daily wrote on June 27 that Čarnogurský launched his campaign with Pavol Bielik, a KDH member and the former mayor of the Rača borough of Bratislava, who was sentenced for corruption by the Special Court. “I highly esteem him and his support,” Čarnogurský said. “Mr. Bielik was acquitted by the court; his case went through all stages of judicial power. If we are a democratic country, we must respect this. If someone is acquitted by a court, then it means that he is freed.” Bielik was charged with asking for a bribe of Sk5 million for allowing a construction project in Rača. He was acquitted, but his co-defendant, Jaroslav Šuščák, who allegedly mediated the bribe, was effectively sentenced. The court did not have enough evidence against Bielik due in part to Šuščák having acted in his name

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