Danko: If I Run for President, I’ll Be Passive

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Parliamentary Chairman Andrej Danko (photo by TASR)

Bratislava, December 21 (TASR) – Parliamentary Chairman Andrej Danko (Slovak National Party/SNS) told TASR on Friday that if he’s asked by his party to run for president in the spring, he’ll do so, but he’ll be absolutely passive, without engaging in any campaign.

During a trip to Turkey back in October, Danko stated that he wouldn’t run for president.

“The situation has changed – one minute it’s no, another time it’s yes. Nobody wants to run for SNS. We don’t have an ambition to succeed in the presidential election, we’re focusing more on the European elections. Nevertheless, if I’m tasked by the SNS presidium with representing the party in the presidential election, I’m saying in advance that I won’t engage in any campaigning or debates. I’ll view it as an obligation,” said Danko, adding that SNS should present its own bidder, as the governing coalition (Smer-SD, SNS and Most-Hid) hasn’t found a joint candidate, despite his efforts.

At the same time Danko doesn’t expect that the senior governing party Smer-SD will support his bid. “We’ve never discussed this. It’s 100-percent certain that Smer-SD will have its own candidate, but I don’t know who it will be,” said Danko.

When asked what will happen to SNS if he’s elected president, Danko said that he doesn’t know.

“I’m 44 years old and I want to see the party get more percent in the 2020 general election than in 2016, in order to provide me with greater political power. I have a big vision that I want to carry out, but the president doesn’t have such powers. We might appear quite well in the polls, but we certainly don’t seem to be the favourites. They are clear. There are dominant names – if they run. I don’t know how [Foreign and European Affairs Minister] Miroslav Lajcak will decide, but I’ve perceived some signals that he probably will be running,” added Danko.