Voice-SD Has over 94,000 Signatures, to Ask for Registration on Friday

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ex-premier Peter Pellegrini and his fellows from the emerging Voice-SD party (photo by TASR)

Bratislava, August 14 (TASR) – The emerging Voice-Social Democracy (SD) party will submit the more than 94,000 signatures that it’s collected to the Interior Ministry and ask for party registration on Friday.

The party was founded by ex-premier and Parliamentary Vice-chair Peter Pellegrini along with other defectors from the now opposition Smer-SD party.

According to Pellegrini, Voice-SD has probably collected the highest number of signatures necessary to register a party in the history of the independent Slovakia. “It’s a big challenge for us,” he said. His party wants to be a voice of social values and solidarity for young people, pensioners, the poor and vulnerable. “Those who feel that their social certainties are threatened by the amateurish performance of this Government,” added Pellegrini.

Pellegrini declared the party hasn’t used the services of any advertising agency or paid part-time workers to collect signatures, nor has it collected signatures at any organised events. It’s paid for the whole campaign from its own coffers.

Voice-SD features several former Smer-SD functionaries, including former Smer-SD vice-chairs Richard Rasi and Peter Ziga, former presidium member Denisa Sakova, and MPs Lubica Lassakova, Jan Ferencak, Matus Sutaj Estok, Peter Kmec and Erik Tomas. Pellegrini noted that discussions with Smer-SD MPs on a potential switch to Voice-SD are still taking place. If any of these MPs decide to do so, they’ll be welcomed into the party in the autumn.

The aim is to have the party officially registered as early as during the September parliamentary session, where it will ask to be allowed to form its own caucus. Pellegrini expects opposition to this from some MPs, but he doesn’t think that the party will be weakened if it doesn’t have its own caucus. Voice-SD only refuses to cooperate with the far-right LSNS, but it isn’t ruling out any other parties from cooperation, not even Smer-SD.

At least 10,000 signatures are required to register a party. The Interior Ministry must decide on party registration within 30 days of their submission. There are some 160 political parties and movements registered in Slovakia.