Zilina, January 29 (TASR) – Siet (Network) party leader Radoslav Prochazka at an extraordinary briefing in Zilina on Friday challenged Prime Minister Robert Fico to a face-to-face televised debate on public broadcaster Radio and Television of Slovakia (RTVS).
“In the 18 months since the creation of Network, the chairman [Fico] of the governing party [Smer-SD] has managed to avoid a direct debate both on television and radio. We’ve tolerated this with relative patience for 18 months. But today, some 30 days ahead of the election, we find this unsustainable. We fail to see a single legitimate reason for the chairman of the governing party to continue pussyfooting around such a duel,” said Prochazka.
Siet also called on RTVS to create space for the debate. “Since the founding of Siet a year and half ago, the Siet chair hasn’t been given an opportunity to hold a debate with the prime minister, despite the fact that it [Siet] has been the most popular Opposition party in the polls. In the meantime, the prime minister has held debates with the Most-Hid chair seven times on RTVS alone, seven times with the KDH chairman, and once each with the SDKU and SNS chairs, not to mention his 16 monologues,” said Siet spokesperson Karolina Ducka.
Ducka added that Siet has declined an invitation to appear on RTVS’s radio show Saturday Dialogues because it doesn’t intend to legitimise with its presence a state of affairs that flies in the face of RTVS’s mission statement. “The participation of the Siet chair in any different debate lineup would mean that we view this situation as natural. We, however, perceive it as detrimental, curbing the right of Slovak citizens to information and ignoring the basic layout of the current political situation,” she added.