Prague - Czech dailies today comment on the result of the Slovak presidential election's first round held on Saturday in which Prime Minister Robert Fico (Smer-Social Democracy) and businessman Andrej Kiska (unaffiliated) advanced to the runoff scheduled for March 29.
Do druhého kola postoupivší kandidáti (sprava) Robert Fico a Andrej Kiska vystoupili 16. března v Bratislavě v televizní debatě po prvním kole slovenských prezidentských voleb. Kiska získal 24 procent odevzdaných hlasů, jeho soupeř v druhém kole voby, premiér Robert Fico, 28 procent. ČTK Koller Jan
Slovaks are in a difficult situation since they are to elect their president for turbulent times affected by the Ukrainian crisis, and they can choose between two experiments, Lubos Palata writes in daily Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD) today.
The first experiment is PM Robert Fico´s attempt to become the head of state and together with his Smer party to control all key posts in the state, Palata says.
However, he adds, Fico´s rival candidate, Andrej Kiska, is an experiment as well. He seems to be an honest man with an excellent reputation and a successful businessman, but at the same time he lacks political background and he is even opposed to traditional political parties, Plata notes.
"He can offer his experience of a manager but not of a politician," Palata notes.
"If I were a Slovak, I would give him my vote. At least over the feeling that he deserves to lead Slovakia. But we are not living in normal times. If I were a Slovak, I would have a heavy head and a hard choice," Palata concludes in MfD.
The result of the first round of the presidential election in Slovakia resembles the early general election in the neighbouring Czech Republic in the autumn of 20013, in which billionaire businessman Andrej Babis became a real winner, Zbynek Petracek writes in Lidove noviny (LN) today.
The victory of PM Robert Fico evokes that of the Social Democrats (CSSD) in the Czech polls. The actual winner of the Slovak presidential contest is millionaire and philanthropist Andrej Kiska, who finished second but closely behind the favourite Fico, Petracek says.
He says Kiska, similar to Babis, who is a Slovak, too, by the way, is the man who has trashed the "Matrix" [of established political parties].
It is hard to anticipate the result of the final round. However, a certain trend is emerging: Matrix is losing the battle with those who pose as authentic leaders of themselves or protectors of people against wicked parties," Petracek writes.
The expansion of the Czech government ANO party of Andrej Babis, who faces a constant conflict of interests, is dangerous and it might even threaten the position of the senior ruling Social Democrats (CSSD), Petr Fischer writes in Hospodarske noviny (HN) today.
He says the dispute about Babis´s alleged cooperation with the communist secret police (StB) has never been a problem for the CSSD.
On the other hand, PM and CSSD chairman has expressed fears of the business-political conflict of interest in Babis´s case. However, Sobotka has a lot of worries about himself and foreign policy to be able to solve Babis´s conflicts, Fischer says.
He recalls that the CSSD demanded the resignation of the previous centre-right cabinet of Petr Necas as soon as a conflict of interest, caused by the junior ruling Public Affairs (VV), surfaced.
Today, a specific tangle of political-economic power is being created but the Social Democrats keep silent though they must realise that Babis and his ANO would like to use the potential of this network in the next elections, Fischer points out.
He reminds that it is hard to distinguish now when Babis is speaking on behalf of his Agrofert concern and when on behalf of the state.
"If the CSSD wants to play one of the main political roles, it should more ask whether the expansion of this octopus-like potential is not threatening, apart from political stability, the CSSD´s future. After two months it became obvious that it could," Fischer concludes in HN.