Prague - The Slovaks´ situation is not that bad now as it was ten years ago when they were choosing between Vladimir Meciar, who brought the country into isolation, and Ivan Gasparovic, who was assisting him in this, Gabriel Sedlak writes about Saturday´s presidential election in Lidove noviny (LN) today.
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
Current Prime Minister Robert Fico has been ruling the country since 2006 with a two-year pause, and so he cannot ignore the fact that two thirds of citizens mind the high unemployment, corruption, the state´s debt and inability to enforce law, Sedlak writes.
Turnout in the first presidential vote round two weeks ago was the lowest from 1999, which is a bad piece of news, but it can be also read as a good piece of information if the situation repeats tomorrow - Slovaks simply consider neither candidate, the other being businessman Andrej Kiska, a threat to their country, Sedlak writes.
He writes that it is also a good piece of news that the country is not contaminated with anti-Hungarian hysteria this time, which helped Gasparovic beat Iveta Radicova in the run-off five years ago. Fico even addressed voters in Hungarian on billboards put up in the south of the country, Sedlak writes.
Yet, many an undecided voter may eventually prefer Fico to his rationally speaking rival Kiska also because Fico, if need be, is capable of playing the populist and nationalist card like many a standard politician. Kiska lacks this instinct, Sedlak writes.
Yulia Tymoshenko should be an ideal kingpin in the current turbulent situation in Ukraine because she was born in the pro-Russian southeast while at the same time she became a symbol of the pro-western orientation of the country, Petr Pesek writes elsewhere in Lidove noviny (LN).
Yet, if the situation is to calm down in Ukraine, a person acceptable for both parts of the country, including the strong Russian minority, and capable of talking to Moscow as well should become president, Pesek writes.
However, Tymoshenko model 2014 fulfils nothing of this. Ukraine needs a new, not so strongly defined face at its head. If public opinion polls are relevant, voters also realise the risk connected with Tymoshenko, Pesek writes.
Russia seems to be punishing itself with its aggressive imperial and imprudent policy and the others can feel satisfaction, but this would be the biggest mistake that could be made, Pavel Paral writes in Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD).
The poorer the Russians will be, the more intensively Vladimir Putin´s regime will be looking for an outer enemy to blame for everything. The regime´s aggressiveness will further grow, Paral writes.
Since the Russian border is not too far from the Czech and since it is likely to be moving closer, Czechs should not only reflect on these things, but they should also start preparing for the new, unpleasant reality of the political and security climate, Paral writes.