Czech press survey - March 31


31.03.2014 07:37

Prague - All Czech papers comment on the spectacular victory of Andrej Kiska in the Saturday Slovak presidential elections in which he defeated Prime Minister Robert Fico with a large margin.


Slovenský premiér a prezidentský kandidát Robert Fico přichází 29. března večer do své volební centrály v Bratislavě. ČTK Koller Jan

Kiska will change Slovakia and perhaps Fico, too, Lubos Palata writes in Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD).

Kiska is a chance for a new era of Slovakia. In it, Fico's Smer-Social Democracy and the right would not be engaged in a fierce fight, but would be able to cooperate and to arrive at a consensus, Palata writes.

Kiska is close to the left in social affairs, but closer to the pro-Atlantic and pro-American right in other things. Thanks to this, he may become one of the first kingpins on whose end may be coalition governments of Smer and the right-wing or liberal parties in Slovakia, he adds.

In such governments, the prime minister is rather a statesman than a politician with clear-cut views. If Fico is able to head such governments and to collaborate with the president who defeated him, he may become a real statesman in five to ten years, Palata writes.

Fico evidently underestimated Slovaks' strong disgust at politics and politicians' behaviour, Ivan Vilcek writes in Pravo.

Besides, the public made it clear to him that he should not escape responsibility half way through his government's term of office, Vilcek writes, alluding to Fico's having only become the prime minister two years ago.

There is now the question of how Fico will react to the latest developments. In his aggressive campaign he called Kiska an experiment and a security risk for Slovakia, he adds.

Now Fico will have to learn to collaborate with a president whom he hardly knows, while he ignores what to expect from him, Vilcek writes.

There is the other alternative that Fico will not sustain his Saturday debacle and will resign, he adds.

At any rate, Fico has arisen from the fight not only as a defeated, but strongly weakened figure. If he keeps the post of prime minister, he will no longer be the self-assured candidate from the presidential duel, Vilcek writes.

The end of Ficoland, Martin Ehl writes in the financial paper Hospodarske noviny (HN).

Those who considered the Slovak presidential elections a sort of referendum about Fico's government, may be satisfied with their result, Ehl writes.

The power style of the prime minister and the party that has a comfortable majority in parliament has turned out to be a barrier to cross the limit of about 40 percent of the vote, he adds.

On the other hand, those who may have succumbed to euphoria thanks to Kiska, will be almost certainly disappointed, Ehl writes.

Kiska has created a great deal of expectations and now it will depend on his political capabilities whether he will be able to fulfil them at least partly, he adds.

Kiska's critics who warn of his lack of experiences are right. In the long run, it may prove the biggest weakness of the new president, he adds.

On the other hand, Kiska is more than anything else a hope that it is possible to change things in Slovakia, Ehl writes,

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