Fico: Presidential Candidates Should Give Up Tax Secrecy

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Presidential Palace (Stock photo by TASR)
Bratislava, June 15 (TASR) – The strongest parliamentary party Smer-SD wants to change legislation so that presidential candidates are obligated to give up tax confidentiality during their campaign, said the party’s head Robert Fico at a press conference on Friday, admitting that the motive is because of the tax problems of incumbent head of state Andrej Kiska.

The draft amendment to the act on the conditions of exercising voting rights will be submitted by Smer-SD to Parliament in September. The article, which says what presidential candidates must submit to the parliamentary chair, should be extended with a new condition, namely a statement signed by one’s own hand that they are giving up tax confidentiality during the campaign. “If they don’t do so, they won’t be able to run for the post,” said Fico. The tax confidentiality will be returned on election day.
Fico reiterated that Kiska’s conduct was amoral and disqualifying. “We want to prevent something similar from happening in the future. A tax fraudster mustn’t lead the country. We’re presenting here information which confirms that Kiska wanted to reimburse one-fifth of his campaign using state money through a VAT refund,” he said.
The Kiska case is, according to him, an exemplary case of the double standards journalists use. “I wonder what you would do with me if I applied an unjustified VAT refund or presented 12 corrected tax returns. I probably wouldn’t be alive,” he noted.
Fico has so far talked about the amendment with Most-Hid head Bela Bugar, who as a presidential candidate, doesn’t have a problem with the change. The Slovak National Party (SNS) hasn’t presented its candidate yet.