SaS and OLaNO Close to Reaching Cooperation Agreement for VUC Election

Freedom and Solidarity leader Richard Sulik and OLaNO-NOVA chairman Igor Matovic at a press conference (stock photo by TASR)

Bratislava, February 18 (TASR) – Opposition parties Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) and OLaNO-NOVA are in final stage of talks on mutual support for candidates in the upcoming regional election slated for autumn, TASR learnt on Saturday.

Although the liberals of SaS claim that partial agreements on names have been clinched already, OLaNO-NOVA leader Igor Matovic stressed that until the agreement is put to ink, there is no commitment.

“We already agreed on the support for three SaS candidates for regional governors in Bratislava, Banska Bystrica and Trencin. All other agreements are pending and we will provide information on their results in due time,” TASR was told by SaS spokesperson Katarina Svrcekova. The liberals will nominate incumbent MPs Juraj Droba, Martin Klus and Renata Kascakova. If their bids are successful, they will relinquish their MP mandates.

According to Matovic, however, the subject matter is too serious to have candidate names announced prematurely. “Only when the agreement is signed we will release the names to media. Doing so now is not right,” thinks Matovic.

The OLaNO leader expects the coalition of SaS and OLaNO-NOVA to be joined also by non-parliamentary Christian Democratic Movement (KDH). “I reached out to [KDH chair] Alojz Hlina myself. We’ll surely work out some format (of cooperation), but what kind precisely remains to be seen.”

The readiness to engage in cooperation was declared also by KDH. If a strategic opposition agreement sees the light of the day, KDH would want to nominate its own candidate for governor in some of the regions, too, said Hlina. “There’s no other way to go in a single-round election. If there is a strong coalition candidate, we must put up a strong opposition candidate, too. We need to facilitate the choice for people by creating a mental shortcut that they’re choosing between coalition and opposition. This is our vital interest,” said Hlina.