Reactions to President’s decision not to run for post again

Topical issue

Reactions to President’s decision not to run for post again

16. 05. 2018 15:07

On Tuesday, Slovak President Andrej Kiska announced that he would not run for the presidential office in the election to be held in 2019. "I am not planning to pull out of political life completely, either," added Andrej Kiska saying that he doesn't consider the political struggle that he began with his entry into politics to be over.

Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini respects the decision of Andrej Kiska not to run for re-election as the Slovak President and wishes him all the best. Pellegrini stated that it's not up to him to evaluate Kiska's future course of action. "I'm looking forward to the contest between new candidates who will make bids for the presidency the next spring," he claimed. "I don't know if Mr. President harbours aspirations to found some political party directly, particularly after making it unequivocally clear that his decision was informed also by his need to spend more time with his family," remarked Pellegrini. The Prime Minister added that he will always strive for good ties between top three constitutional officials, regardless of who holds these posts.

Parliamentary Chair and Slovak National Party leader Andrej Danko views President Andrej Kiska's statement that he won't run for re-election as his personal decision and he's taken note of it. As far as the possible founding of a political party is concerned, Danko believes that voters of the three opposition parties in the parliament will eventually have a reasonable alternative to support.

Junior coalition party Most-Hid respects the decision by President Andrej Kiska and hopes that people will choose a good head of state in next year's presidential race. The party won't comment on the fact that Andrej Kiska wants to get actively involved in politics after the municipal elections.

Representatives of the biggest opposition party Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) understand the reasons why President Andrej Kiska decided not to run in the next presidential. The party views it as essential that the current Opposition should offer a single non-partisan candidate to the Slovak public whose life story proves his or her probity and sense of justice, and who will represent Slovakia at home as well as abroad in a dignified manner. "SaS will launch negotiations on this issue with the [other] Opposition parties in next few days," stated its representatives.

President Andrej Kiska's decision is his attempt to leave the back door open, concurred political scientists Darina Malová and Pavol Baboš on Tuesday. According to Malová, such a move doesn't come as much of a surprise. "Seeing as it's a neither fish nor fowl approach, it might disappoint some of his [Kiska's] sympathisers, who expected more. On the other hand, this could also serve as the first step towards some future political path," she told TASR. According to her, the way to a political career in Slovakia is to join forces with a political party. "Also by virtue of not specifying what this means, he freed himself up to make his decision over the course of the year," said for TASR Political scientist Pavol Baboš.

Parliamentary political parties Smer-SD, the Slovak National Party (SNS), Most-Hid, Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) OĽaNO and We Are Family haven't yet presented their presidential candidates. Most of them are considering potential names, while some have already made the decision and will present their candidate soon.

Radovan Znášik, who has already announced his candidacy, intends to vie for votes as a civic candidate. Security analyst Juraj Zábojník and political analyst Eduard Chmelár have also expressed interest in the presidential post. Supreme Court judge Štefan Harabin has declared his preliminary interest, as well. Financier Imrich Béreš announced his intention to join the 2019 presidential race, but he looks set to give up his candidacy.

Martina Šimkovičová, Photo: TASR

Livestream / Živé vysielanie