Ethnic-Hungarian Bugar to Run for Slovakia’s President

Most-Hid chairman Bela Bugar (stock photo by TASR)

Bratislava, June 9 (TASR) – Co-ruling Most-Hid chairman Bela Bugar, currently serving as a parliamentary vice-chair, will run for president of Slovakia in the elections set for the spring of 2019, the party’s congress decided unanimously on Saturday.

Most-Hid vice-chairman Laszlo Solymos, who announced the party’s decision at a press conference, said that time is ripe to see a member of an ethnic minority to run for the country’s top political post.

“Bela Bugar represents the values of cooperation, tolerance and ability to reach compromise, which are all shortage goods in these days,” said Solymos.

Bugar at the press conference stated that he made the decision following thorough consideration and debates with his closest ones, while he announced that if elected, his main goal as a “person able to stand above disputes” will be to contribute towards reducing tension and polarisation in society.

“I want to be a president of all Slovakia’s people – Slovaks, Hungarians, Ruthenians, Roma, successful and lesser successful, young and old, people from cities and the countryside,” said Bugar.

Outlining his overall approach in politics if elected, Bugar said that president should be a “partner and helper, not an activist and opponent at any cost, regardless of what government emerges as the result of people’s will expressed in general election, while this will needs to be respected by president”.

The presidential post could be a worthy crowning of Most-Hid chairman Bela Bugar’s (59) long political career, but it seems that his bid in the 2019 presidential elections is rather motivated by advertising his party prior to the 2010 general election, analyst Juraj Marusiak told TASR on Saturday.

Marusiak doesn’t believe that Bugar could make it even to the second round next year. While still being the very central figure in Most-Hid, his image overall has suffered in recent years, noted Marusiak.

“The fact that he entered into a coalition with Smer-SD [in 2016] created many enemies for him in the Opposition, while it’s unclear whether he’ll be able to attract, for example, Smer-SD voters at the same time,” said Marusiak.

However, if Most-Hid hadn’t placed its own candidate and had supported a figure from a different party instead, this would likely result in a gradual decline in public perception of the party ahead of the 2020 general election, stressed the analyst. He added that Most-Hid itself obviously doesn’t believe in Bugar’s success in the presidential elections, as it hasn’t bothered to look for his successor as party leader.

Facing no contender, Bugar was also re-elected Most-Hid chairman for another four years on Saturday.