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Gašparovič to speak on public RTVS channel ahead of pre-election debate

THE PUBLIC Radio and Television of Slovakia, RTVS, proposed that President Ivan Gašparovič make an announcement concerning the upcoming second round of the presidential election in its March 26 broadcast, after the main evening news.

THE PUBLIC Radio and Television of Slovakia, RTVS, proposed that President Ivan Gašparovič make an announcement concerning the upcoming second round of the presidential election in its March 26 broadcast, after the main evening news.

This came in response to an official letter sent from the president’s office two day earlier to the TV channel’s director, Václav Mika, requiring RTVS to allot time for the head of state. The president’s address would be broadcast before a debate between the two presidential candidates who made it to the second round, Prime Minister Robert Fico and Andrej Kiska, so that they both can respond to his statements, the TASR newswire wrote.

However, RTVS set a condition, the Sme daily wrote. In order to secure that Gašparovič does not support a specific candidate, the address will be recorded in advance and broadcast later. Gašparovič first supported chairman of the ruling Smer party Robert Fico indirectly, without naming him. But several days ago, he began openly supporting Fico. Gašparovič allegedly plans to call on people to go to the ballot boxes, his spokesman Marek Trubač said. However, the President’s Office did not confirm whether he had accepted the conditions in written form, and so the RTVS has not announced definitively whether the address will be broadcast.

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