Former PM Pellegrini Leaving Smer-SD

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Former PM Peter Pellegrini. (Photo by TASR)

Banska Bystrica, June 10 (TASR) – Former prime minister Peter Pellegrini, who took Smer-SD into the February general election as its election leader, announced in Banska Bystrica on Wednesday that he’s leaving the party despite allegedly receiving an offer from Smer leader Robert Fico to take over at the helm of Smer.

Stating that he’ll abandon the party gradually, first its top posts and later also ordinary membership, Pellegrini announced that if he sets up a new party, it will be a new brand. He didn’t reveal the names of any possible party colleagues, although he did drop a hint that some specific figures are in the frame, stating that he’ll leave it up to them to make their own announcements.

A current parliamentary vice-chairman, nominated by Smer, Pellegrini also said that he’ll vacate that seat accordingly on behalf of the party.

According to Pellegrini, Smer “announced a responsible change” before the general election, and he “believed in the change”. Nevertheless, he claimed, the party didn’t seem to be willing to keep its promise in the end.

“I attempted to launch a discussion in various ways, to scream that there was something not right there,” said Pellegrini.

Pellegrini became prime minister in 2018 after Fico had to resign following mass protests in the country in reaction to the murder of journalist Jan Kuciak. He left the post of prime minister in March of this year following defeat in the general election. He recently called on Fico to abandon the top post in Smer, but Fico refused to yield, stating that Smer needs fighters, not theoreticians and liberal snowflakes.