Fico: I See No Reason for Early Election, Coalition Alive and Well

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Smer-SD chair Robert Fico speaking at a press conference (stock photo by TASR)

Bratislava, March 26 (TASR) – Smer-SD chair Robert Fico sees absolutely no reason for an early election and finds it responsible to continue, particularly when the coalition is functional as it is, TASR learnt on Tuesday.

“We have a functioning coalition. All it took was to hold a single constructive session of the coalition council and things are moving forward already,” Fico stated at a press conference on the same day.

Fico respects the fact of life that political parties will gradually attempt to distinguish themselves from each other in the run-up to the next year’s parliamentary election and raise issues that they find important for their own promotion. Despite all this, however, he believes that the coalition needs to follow through on its tenure until March 2020.

Fico announced that Parliament will hold the vote on the Constitutional Court judges on April 3. “We have made positive progress also on the vote for Constitutional Court judge candidates. We’ll still talk and hope that you’ll see positive results next week,” said Most-Hid caucus chair Tibor Bastrnak. This sentiment was echoed by SNS caucus chair Tibor Bernatak, who stated that it’s important for SNS to have a fully functional Constitutional Court. “We’ll do our utmost to make this happen,” he added.

As for the Defence Co-operation Agreement with the United States, Fico said that the coalition managed to arrive at a sensible conclusion. “We identified certain insurmountable red lines with respect to the deal with the USA,” claimed Fico. Bernatak reiterated the stance of SNS: “In no case will we allow the construction of military bases of another state on the soil of Slovakia.”

Both Most-Hid and Smer-SD respect the view of SNS. “Signing any agreement that would violate the sovereignty of Slovakia is out of the question,” added Fico. There’s consensus also on the plan that Slovakia could choose projects to be financed with US aid. “We have no interest in financing a project that might become the target of military attack in the future,” said Fico.

The coalition also agreed on postponing a number of motions until the May parliamentary session, particularly items concerning changes to taxes and levies. The parties confirmed that they clinched a preliminary deal on the issue, but want to buy more time to discuss the proposals with the next finance minister, whose name hasn’t yet been revealed.

Bernatak finds it important that “there is willingness inside the coalition to cut the burden of taxes and levies for both companies and people”.

Fico claimed that Smer-SD takes proposals by SNS and Most-Hid seriously, but ramifications for the state budget must be discussed first in the presence of the next finance minister.