Pellegrini Calls on Fico to Leave Smer-SD Leadership

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Smer-SD vice-chair Peter Pellegrini with vice-chairs Peter Ziga and Richard Rasi and presidium member Denisa Sakova (photo by TASR)

Bratislava, May 26 (TASR) – Opposition Smer-SD vice-chair Peter Pellegrini told a news conference on Tuesday that he has called on party chairman Robert Fico to leave the party leadership.

Pellegrini stated that if Fico wants to help the party and social democracy in Slovakia, the time has come for him to leave the leadership. Fico would thus help to fulfil all goals he had announced, namely, a stronger Smer-SD, increasing the party’s coalition potential and creating space for new politicians who are ready to fight, said Pellegrini.

“Mr. chairman has today the last chance to avoid the fate of Vladimir Meciar or Mikulas Dzurinda he has never wanted to follow. If he doesn’t want to tragically fulfil their motto – I founded the party and I will also destroy it – he has a unique opportunity today to give his party hope for a better future,” stated Pellegrini, adding he wouldn’t help only Smer-SD in this way, but also the social-democratic policy in Slovakia.

Pellegrini reacted in this way to the statement made by Fico earlier in the day that Smer-SD needs new people, fighters, who don’t only want to achieve their personal ambitions. “He himself is admitting he no longer has the lust to fight in discussions or in Parliament. Smer-SD must be led by a leader who wants to fight and whom people will trust,” noted Pellegrini.

He praised the fact that they agree with Fico on the need for the changes that would make Smer-SD a stronger party, however, there’s also the need to increase the party’s credibility, he stressed. Pellegrini pointed to the fact that the party presidium hasn’t held talks for several months and the party is unable to convene a working congress, either.

Pellegrini was accompanied at the press conference by Smer-SD vice-chairs Richard Rasi and Peter Ziga, as well as presidium member Denisa Sakova.

The discussion on changes and the future of the party is being held within Smer-SD. Pellegrini has already declared his interest in running for the post of party chairman. In a recent interview for TASR he said that the party needs a generation change. He didn’t rule out quitting the party, either, with some party mates probably following him. He wants to pursue a more modern social policy.