Pressure by Prime Minister on Public Broadcaster over Coverage
Fico criticised the broadcaster’s news coverage, accusing it of being biased and asking unfair questions, and he said he would give lawmakers “clear guidance” recommending a change in RTVS’ leadership. The call echoed Fico’s statements earlier in the week accusing the broadcaster of being “no longer a public-service” and “opposition-oriented”.
RTVS has faced criticism from Slovak National Party (SNS) lawmakers since they joined a coalition government with Smer in 2016. Smer lawmakers faced similar accusations of pressure in 2012 when they elected Mika to a five-year term after then-RTVS Director General Miroslava Zemková’s term was controversially cut short over her failure to inform lawmakers about the launch of a tender. Most opposition parties boycotted the 2012 vote electing Mika, calling it an effort by Smer to assert political control over RTVS.