Madaric: New RTVS Chief Shouldn’t Be Elected Thanks to LSNS Votes

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Madaric on election of RTVS director (photo by TASR)

I won’t try to persuade MPs from my Smer-SD party to vote for my favourite, incumbent public service Radio and Television Slovakia (RTVS) director Vaclav Mika, in Tuesday’s (June 20) second round of the election for the top RTVS post, said Culture Minister Marek Madaric on RTVS’s programme ‘O 5 Minut 12’ (Five Minutes to Twelve) on Sunday.

[Mika is set to face current News Agency of the Slovak Republic (TASR) general director Jaroslav Reznik in the second round vote. – ed. note]

“I think that I’ve been expressing my opinion very clearly, which should be enough for those who want to be influenced. I definitely won’t try to persuade anybody or contact MPs. This is simply my opinion, and MPs will make a free decision,” explained Madaric, adding that he’ll respect the result of the vote and will be helpful to the new RTVS chief if he carries out good managerial steps.

Meanwhile, Madaric warned that the new RTVS director could be elected thanks to votes from the far-right People’s Party Our Slovakia (LSNS) of Marian Kotleba, and this could put him [the new director] in a bad position.

“I prefer Vaclav Mika partly because there is higher certainty that he wouldn’t be dependent on votes from Kotleba’s MPs. However, I’m not saying that they [Smer MPs] have to vote for Mika. They can also vote for Reznik, he’s not ‘red rag to a bull’ for me,” stressed the Smer-SD vice-chair.

Head of the Most-Hid caucus Gabor Gal, who was also on the show, said that his party hasn’t yet taken up a clear position on Tuesday’s vote and will have to summon a caucus meeting hastily. Most-Hid had a problem with Reznik, the candidate supported by both Smer-SD and the Slovak National Party (SNS). Nevertheless, neither of two other candidates, Michal Ruttkay and Zuzana Tapakova, managed to make it into the second round. Most-Hid offered its coalition partners a compromise in the form of supporting one of them.

“Our coalition partners didn’t accept this. They didn’t want any agreement, still standing behind their nominee, Mr. Reznik, so we said on Thursday (June 15), okay, if this agreement isn’t valid, we can also vote freely, and this is also what happened, and the majority of our faction supported Mr. Mika in the first round,” said Gal.

“We have two candidates that we didn’t want, and we must make a decision that would be good for the country, for the Government, for the party itself and for our voters. We’re going to discuss it and agree on it,” said Gal.

Leader of Opposition party Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) Richard Sulik said that MPs of his party will vote for Mika in the second round as well. “It’s said that you should never change a winning team, and this unambiguously speaks in favour of Vaclav Mika, who’s done a good job and increased the viewing figures,” said Sulik. The SaS leader doesn’t think that RTVS under Mika’s management would side with the Opposition. “I think he should continue in his post, and that’s why the whole SaS faction and I think that the whole Opposition will also vote for Mika in the second round,” stated Sulik.