BRATISLAVA – Open stand-off in the Smer-SD party

Former Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini (Smer-SD, member of PES) has openly called on Robert Fico, the prime minister for ten years before him, to step down as party leader.

Pellegrini replaced Fico as prime minister after the government reshuffle after the nationwide protests that followed the murders of journalist Ján Kuciak and his fiancée in 2018.

“Mr Chairman has the last chance to avoid the fate of Vladimír Mečiar and Mikuláš Dzurinda (both former prime ministers whose parties had not survived their leaders). If Mr Fico wants to help the social democracy in Slovakia, the time has come for him to step down from the leadership of the party,” Pellegrini told the press conference, accompanied by three former ministers who are widely considered his main allies in the party.

It is the first open rebellion against Robert Fico within Smer-SD. Fico still enjoys considerable support among the party´s membership and apparently is not considering resignation. Pundits also mull the possibility that Pellegrini may launch his own party.

(Zuzana Gabrižová | EURACTIV.sk)

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