Slovakia: does ex-president Kiska want to be PM?
Just two days after stepping down as Slovakian president Andrej Kiska established a new centre-right party on Monday. Commentators believe Kiska aims to become prime minister as the leader of Za ľudí (For the people) in next spring's elections and take differing views of the plan.
A good communicator
Slovakian politics are becoming more dynamic, Hospodářské noviny writes in delight:
“Nine months before the elections Kiska has given voters a new party: pro-Western, pro-European, with local politicians who are popular with the new generation and experienced matadors. This all fits in well with the dynamic that has been in play since the murder of the journalist Ján Kuciak. Already at that time Kiska was preparing to step down as president. Now he can show what a good communicator - and effective politician - he is. Because in keeping with the constitution he wasn't able to show off these talents as president. And even if Kiska officially denies that he wants to be prime minister - it's with precisely this ambition in mind that he has stepped into the ring.”
His ambitions could divide parliament
The leftist daily Pravda, which has generally been critical of Kiska, looks askance at his ambitions:
“According to a survey put out by [the polling institute] Focus, as many as nine parties could win seats in the next parliament. That would set a record. ... It also increases the risk of a political stalemate, however, and could up the number of opposition parties to six. If Kiska wanted to unite the opposition he's going about it in exactly the wrong way. He'll have to fish in the waters of potential partners, and that will only weaken them. ... In the same way that he divided society as president, Andrej Kiska now threatens to divide parliament as a new party leader. That cannot be his objective.”