SaS: Mihal Won’t Run against Sulik for Party Leader Post

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Mihal not to run against Sulik for party leader post (photo by TASR)

Bratislava, May 20 (TASR) – Opposition Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) party vice-chair Jozef Mihal has chosen not to run for the party leader post, announcing his decision at a press conference held jointly with SaS leader Richard Sulik on Friday.

“I’m hereby making an official announcement that I will not run for this post either at a special, or at any other congress of the party. SaS isn’t splitting up, I’m not considering quitting the party, I remain an SaS MP, vice-chair and member of the Republican Council,” said Mihal, who made the decision following a meeting with Sulik on Thursday. “We’ve found a common language, we’ve made a lot of things clear and we’ve come to an agreement. We both understand that our rival is Smer. We both want SaS ready to take over responsibility for Slovakia following the next election,” said Sulik.

According to the two SaS representatives, the next general election won’t necessarily be held in four years, but could come after Slovakia’s Presidency of the EU Council in the second half of this year. SaS must be ready to get thieves and oligarchs out of Government and Parliament, they said. “We must be prepared to do so and be united in doing it. We don’t engage in politics for ourselves, but to change Slovakia for the better,” said Mihal. SaS has an unambiguous goal – to succeed in an election, he stated, adding that SaS is and will be the leader of the Opposition.

Earlier this week Sulik announced that he would resign from the top party post at an extraordinary congress on June 11, only to throw his hat into the ring for re-election. “The reason isn’t division in the party, but a detrimental discussion in the media that is damaging the party,” said Sulik at the time.

Sulik pointed to the fact that a similar discussion concerning the party leadership also arose following the unsuccessful election in 2012. After he failed to become SaS leader, Sulik’s then rival Jozef Kollar quit SaS along with his followers, later founding the SKOK party. SaS vice-chair Lubomir Galko has been mulling over whether to stand for the party leader post as well. He hasn’t yet announced his final decision and is supposed to do so by June 1.