Smer head Robert Fico will not apply for the Constitutional Court judge position in the election that the parliament will hold in late March. He says it is his priority for Smer to win the 2020 parliamentary election.
"I am not going to take part in the election, I am not going to run," Fico told the February 19 press conference. "But I do not rule out that you will see me here again in 12 years."
Fico did not directly answer whether he will run in another election, if the parliament once again fails to elect enough candidates for judges in March.
Smer wants to elect candidates for Constitutional Court judge, but the party insists on the secret ballot, Fico added.
"We welcome the stances of our coalition partners, SNS and Most-Híd, which have publicly declared they are set to talk about the secret ballot," Fico said, as quoted by TASR.
The parliament failed to elect the candidates twice last week because Smer and SNS blocked the election. They rejected to vote in the open ballot, unlike their third coalition partner, Most-Híd.
"If the vote will be secret, we will move on to finding agreements with coalition partners," Fico pledged, as quoted by TASR, saying they will try to agree on the highest number of candidates possible.
Attack on president
This assumes the parliament could elect 18 candidates at its session in late March; the president would appoint nine of the 18 chosen, Fico added. He then went on to attack President Andrej Kiska during his press conference.
"We think this president has no moral right to decide, but we cannot stop him," Fico said, as quoted by TASR.
Also, Béla Bugár (Most-Híd) is not a reliable coalition partner, unlike Andrej Danko (SNS), Fico claimed.
Fico calls journalists criminals again
The press conference was the first time Fico reacted to the outcome of the Constitutional Court election. In his first reaction immediately after the vote in parliament, he called journalists "the biggest criminals in the world".
When confronted with that statement now, Fico reiterated that the media have launched "unprecedented media terror".
"Yes, I am convinced that a big part of you harms this country," Fico said, calling journalists unprofessional and biased.
"The things you do give us the right to use expressive terms to describe your work," Fico said.
Smer deputy chair Robert Kaliňák said that journalists must bear criticism from politicians just like politicians bear criticism from them: "We are only using the language you have used against us."
19. Feb 2019 at 21:58 | Compiled by Spectator staff