Fico Criticises Party Mates, Rejecting Shift towards Liberalism

Fico Criticises Party Mates, Rejecting Shift towards Liberalism

Bratislava, May 21 (TASR) – Opposition Smer-SD chairman Robert Fico on Thursday criticised members of the party presidium and MPs for their public statements on the situation within the party.

In a letter addressed to them, Fico urged them to refrain from making public statements on the internal life of Smer-SD. He criticised them for Jan Podmanicky’s departure from the party, referring to “condemnable political naivete”, stating that he views pushing the party into a “valueless liberal space” as an act detrimental to the interests of Smer-SD.

“Statements on an earlier congress, ambitions to change the way of managing the party we’ve been learning only from media, are significantly damaging Smer-SD,” Fico, who’s momentarily on sick leave, wrote in the letter. He said he’s sorry that they’re misusing his absence to weaken Smer-SD’s position “on behalf of personal political ambitions”. He stated he’s been creating a successful space for political work and fulfilment of the highest political ambitions for his party mates for 20 years.

Fico called for things to be addressed via an internal discussion within the party. “The fashion of sending messages to the party chairman via the media, often at odds with the content of our previous internal debate, is the fashion that I won’t tolerate,” he stressed. Fico views the pressure for Jan Podmanicky’s departure, made by some party leadership members, as a gross political mistake. According to Fico, Podmanicky participated in adoption of measures that helped Smer-SD to gain some 13-14 percent in the general election.

Smer-SD Chair Robert Fico’s and my views of the political world differ, Smer-SD Vice-chair Peter Pellegrini stated on Thursday, adding that this is proved by Fico’s letter addressed to his party mates. Pellegrini further stated that he rejects the attempts to silence “increasingly intense critical voices” and does not consider a different opinion to be detrimental to the interests of Smer-SD.

“Mr. Chairman’s letter merely confirms that his and my views on the political world and the future differ significantly. I reject the efforts to silence more and more intense critical voices that are echoing inside the party, and I don’t consider expressing a different opinion to be gravely detrimental to the interests of Smer-SD,” Pellegrini told TASR in response to the letter.

Pellegrini also pointed out that an integral part of social democracy is a clear stance against fascism and non-co-operation with those who promote this policy.

Smer-SD Vice-chair Richard Rasi did not want to comment on the letter as he considers it to be an internal matter of the party.