NEWS IN SHORT

Another presidential candidate up

MILAN Kňažko, one of the leaders of the Velvet Revolution and a former government official, has confirmed his candidacy in the 2014 presidential election. He will run as an independent candidate, and the main motto of his election campaign will be “There is much at stake again”.

MILAN Kňažko, one of the leaders of the Velvet Revolution and a former government official, has confirmed his candidacy in the 2014 presidential election. He will run as an independent candidate, and the main motto of his election campaign will be “There is much at stake again”.

“I want to be a strong voice of the silent majority,” Kňažko told the press November 29, as reported by the Sme.sk website.

During the press conference Kňažko spoke extensively about what he said was a concentration of power in the hands of ruling Smer party. He also stressed that he would not sign any law that would increase taxes or bully the self-employed, Sme.sk wrote.

According to the latest poll carried out by the Focus agency, Kňažko would receive 7.2 percent of the vote. The survey was conducted before he had confirmed his candidacy, the TASR newswire reported.

The list of candidates who have said they will run in the election, which will take place in spring 2014, so far includes Pavol Hrušovský, backed by the Christian Democratic Movement (KDH) and Most-Híd; businessman Andrej Kiska; Ján Čarnogurský, a former chair of the KDH; Peter Osuský from Freedom and Solidarity (SaS); and independent candidate Radoslav Procházka. Leonid Chovanec, Jozef Behýl, Milan Melník, Ľubica Blašková and Jozef Šimko have also announced their candidacies.

The ruling Smer party has still not introduced its candidate. Prime Minister Robert Fico said on November 28 that the party will most likely present its candidate by the end of this year. The media has speculated that either Fico or Foreign Affairs Minister Miroslav Lajčák will be the most likely candidates.

“I don’t know why you don’t believe me, but I really don’t think about the presidential campaign at all,” Fico said, as quoted by TASR. “When the time comes and the presidium decides, I will decide whether to respect that decision or not.”

The question over whether Fico is considering running for president in the spring election came up during the discussion with students of the Law Faculty of Charles University in Prague. He replied that as prime minister he has one of the strongest mandates in Europe and that there is a lot of work that he wants to get done.

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