Bratislava, February 20 (TASR) – Smer-SD MP and Hurbanovska Ves (Bratislava region) mayor Lubomir Petrak has passed away at 59, Smer-SD MP Dusan Jarjabek confirmed to TASR on Saturday.
Jarjabek was informed about Petrak’s death by the bereaved family, whereas a number of lawmakers have claimed that Petrak succumbed to COVID-19.
Everyone who knew late Smer-SD MP Lubomir Petrak better must grieve for him, Smer-SD chair Robert Fico posted on Facebook on Saturday.
Fico wrote that he has lost a person who was not only a fellow political colleague for 30 years, but also a good friend. “Lubo, rest in peace,” reads the post.
Former Smer-SD member and Voice-SD chair Peter Pellegrini also mourned the death of his long-time political comrade and friend on the social network. “The pandemic is affecting the whole nation with its tragic impacts and it’s our duty to do our utmost to defeat it,” he posted.
Prime Minister Igor Matovic (OLaNO) posted on Facebook: “I liked Lubo Petrak.” He added that with his mindset Petrak didn’t even really belong to Smer-SD.
Matovic claimed that Petrak succumbed to COVID-19, a contagious illness that his party colleagues had downplayed along with the corollaries of the pandemic for a long time.
President Zuzana Caputova sent condolences to the family and bereaved of late Smer-SD MP, lauding his personality traits. “I’ve always held him in high esteem for his fair approach and behaviour. He managed to win respect also from political opponents with his work,” stated Caputova.
The news of Petrak’s death hit House Chair Boris Kollar (We Are Family) “very hard as a fellow human being”.
Kollar sent his sympathies to the bereaved family and praised Petrak for his longstanding work. In Kollar’s view, the late MP was an extraordinary person and professional.
“He was a special person, an expert, who, unfortunately, became another victim to a treacherous illness. I think that I can say on behalf of all our colleagues, the lawmakers, that he will be sorely missed,” Kollar declared in his statement conveyed to TASR by spokesperson Michaela Jurcova.
Petrak was a member of Smer-SD party presidium and served also as the House Education Committee vice-chair.
Becoming involved in politics in the early 1990s, he was a member and later chairman of the now-defunct Party of Democratic Left (SDL) and the mayor of Hurbanovska Ves since 1992. When SDL merged in 2004 with Smer-SD, the party of Robert Fico, Petrak joined Smer-SD and served as its lawmaker since the election of 2006. He chaired the House Committee for Education, Science, Youth and Sport in 2016-20.