On the occasion of the 23rd anniversary of the Velvet Revolution, Slovak President Ivan Gasparovic said the sentiment of the time was still close to him, but just how far removed he is from the values of November 89 is up for individual consideration.
Now in his ninth year as president, Gasparovic has been at the centre of several situations where his personal position or motives have to be questioned. Most recently, his adamant refusal to adhere to the Constitutional Court’s insistence that he respect the key attorney general vote made in parliament over 16 months ago, and appoint the winning candidate, Joseph Centes. Gasparovic has never formally stated his reasons for not appointing Centes, merely using bureaucratic formalities not to do it.
The revolution of 1989 was a public demand for justice, transparency and a new morality in the country, but as long as public servants continue to be bloated by their own arrogance and self-importance, ignoring democratic institutions, the efforts of 23 years ago will all have been in vain.