Bratislava, June 2 (TASR) – Tomas Lehotsky (For the People) probably won’t become a parliamentary vice-chair, as his nomination for such a post has been withdrawn by Vice-premier and head of the For the People party Veronika Remisova, several sources have confirmed for TASR.
Prior to the Government meeting on Wednesday, Remisova stated that she’s already informed her coalition partners about this. The nomination was withdrawn following several disagreements within the party and after a group of For the People party members centred around Justice Minister Maria Kolikova voiced no-confidence in Remisova at the session of the party leadership held late on Tuesday (June 1).
Following the meeting of the presidency on Tuesday, some members formed a faction in the party, with Lehotsky among them. According to Remisova, in political history any faction in a party means division within that party. “There’s no point in nominating someone who’s leaving for parliamentary vice-chair,” said Remisova, adding that if someone is leaving and breaking up the party, he can’t be nominated for the most senior constitutional office that comes under the party’s remit.
Remisova again pointed out that she’s open to a discussion in the party and wants unity and reconciliation. “I don’t think it’s appropriate at the moment for a party like ours to engage in struggles for party leader,” she said, stressing that the “war” started by Kolikova is devastating for the party.
I view the withdrawal of my nomination for the post of parliamentary vice-chair as part of a continuing purge in the party, said For the People MP Tomas Lehotsky on Wednesday in response to party leader Veronika Remisova’s move earlier in the day, adding that he didn’t know about her decision in advance.
“I wonder who agreed it; whether she decided by herself or the vice-chairs agreed to it,” he said, stressing that he isn’t leaving the party and that Remisova is misreading the current situation. “We only said that we no longer trust her as leader and are forming a faction,” he added.
Member of the party presidency Marek Hattas stated that the chairwoman is continuing with a series of incomprehensible steps that go beyond the line. He also pointed to recent personnel changes and party founder Andrej Kiska’s statement that such changes shouldn’t be made before an extraordinary congress. However, according to him, Remisova is doing the exact opposite and continuing to pour oil on the fire. “If this continues, no one will be able to extinguish this fire. I sincerely regret this,” he added.
“I don’t agree with this step. If the caucus and the presidium agree to it, then, of course, I’ll respect it, but at the moment I’m not sending a request to Parliament to withdraw the item,” head of the For the People parliamentary caucus Jana Zitnanska told TASR, noting that there was no discussion on withdrawing the proposal. She pointed out that both the caucus and presidium supported Lehotsky’s nomination for the post of parliamentary chair. According to her, that’s why the process of withdrawing the proposal should look the same, i.e. it should be discussed within the caucus and the presidium.
On Friday, May 28, Parliament didn’t elect Lehotsky to the post of parliamentary vice-chair, lacking one vote for this. Party vice-chair Juraj Seliga spoke about a violation of the coalition agreement. Kolikova, meanwhile, saw this as proof that something was probably not working in the coalition. Both wanted Lehotsky to be nominated again at the parliamentary session in June.