President Welcomes Controversial Governor to Palace
Outgoing President Ivan Gasparovic welcomed the eight freshly elected regional governors to Presidential Palace today, with extremist Marian Kotleba among them representing Bannska Bystrica region, with some disagreement on what Slovakia should be proud of in its history.
Talks at the traditional New Year lunch meeting were varied, but the issue of the Slovak National Uprising (SNP) will be a thorn for Kotleba, as he and his far right followers see the commemorated event not as something of which Slovaks should be proud. Koleba remained silent when the President spoke of the patriotism of the uprising, but afterwards noted how it was when the country “lost its first true statehood” .
In the meantime, the deadline for submitting the necessary 15,000 signatures in support of candidates for this year’s elections (15 March) runs out at midnight, with a total of fifteen hopefuls eventually registered at the time of publishing.
The move by current Prime Minister Robert Fico in December to suddenly call the election date one day after Fico had announced his candidacy, left the other candidates just 21 days to gather and submit the necessary number of signatures.