Coalition politicians slam Kiska for his State of Republic Address

The Smer chairman accuses him of becoming an opposition politician while PM Pellegrini suggests Kiska is no longer a non-partisan head of state.

L-R: Speaker of Parliament Andrej Danko, MP Peter Pelelgrini and President Andrej Kiska, in parliament on June 13.L-R: Speaker of Parliament Andrej Danko, MP Peter Pelelgrini and President Andrej Kiska, in parliament on June 13. (Source: TASR)

President Andrej Kiska with his State of the Republic Address on June 13 confirmed that he is an opposition politician, former prime minister and Smer chairman, Robert Fico, commented on the same day.

Ruling Smer strikes back

“I stated during the 2014 presidential election that Kiska would become an opposition politician. His speech was indeed in this very spirit. Only a few months ago he was saying that Slovakia was a successful country, but suddenly it’s become a black hole for him without any future,” Fico said, as quoted by the TASR newswire, adding that Smer had expected some self-reflection from Kiska.

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The ex-PM continued to remind of Kiska’s scandals and added that Kiska, by the tone of his speech, plainly misused the post of president for partisan purposes.

The incumbent PM, Peter Pellegrini of Smer, held the same tone, suggesting that Kiska is not a non-partisan head of state anymore, and it was clear from the address presented in parliament that he has become a future opposition politician. Pellegrini added he was disappointed with the speech.

Read also: 10 quotes from the president’s speech Read more 

“I had expected that he’d review the state of our country truthfully, but I saw a president who didn’t say anything positive about Slovakia,” the prime minister noted. “He didn’t comment on our good economic developments, including in unemployment and the growth in salaries and quality of life. He just presented a package of criticism,” said Pellegrini, pointing out that Kiska, ironically, called on people to be proud of Slovakia at the same time.

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Kiska spoke a lot about the rule of law, ethics and returning public trust in state bodies, according to Pellegrini. “So, it would be pleasing to see him facing suspicions that he probably exceeded the expenditures limit for his election campaign [in 2014],” the PM summed up, as cited by TASR.

Most-Híd chair continued on the same note

Coalition Most-Híd party leader Béla Bugár commented on the speech, too, saying that it was more an evaluation of the government than a speech about the country’s current situation.

“Not only problems should be examined, but also successes,” said Bugár, according to TASR, adding that “there certainly were positive things in his speech; he spoke about a lack of honest discussion, which I agree with”.

Kiska criticised the introduction of different kinds of social benefit packages, claiming that the government programme is not being met, which is not true, according to Bugár.

Unlike Pellegrini, however, the Most-Híd chair does not think that the speech was the president’s way of preparing for his future role in Slovak politics.

Interior Ministry cannot publish results

Reacting to some parts of Kiska’s speech, the Interior Ministry wrote to media it cannot publish the evaluation of the course of the investigation of any crime not concluded as the law does not allow it. So far, all the information on the investigation of the murder of journalist Ján Kuciak and his fiancée, Martina Kušnírová, has been rendered by the prosecutor’s office. The Interior Ministry claims it does not even have such information at its disposal.

When the international investigation team was established about two months after the murder, the General Prosecutor’s Office pointed out that this is a complex process that may last for several weeks or even months.

Police admitted some flaws in the murder’s investigation but immediately made steps to solve them and adopted measures to prevent them from being repeated, the ministry wrote in a memo.

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