Sutaj Estok: Voice-SD Could Play Incremental Role in Effort to Heal Slovakia

Sutaj Estok: Voice-SD Could Play Incremental Role in Effort to Heal Slovakia
New Voice-SD chair Matus Sutaj Estok (L) receives congratulations upon his election from his predecessor and president-elect Peter Pellegrini at the Voice-SD party congress on June 1, 2024 (photo by TASR)

Bratislava/Kosice, June 1 (TASR) - Voice-SD could play an incremental role in the effort to heal Slovakia, riven by polarisation, because if we feed conflict, the outcome will be nothing but more conflict, new Voice-SD chair Matus Sutaj Estok declared in his speech after his election at the Voice-SD party congress on Saturday.

Sutaj Estok stated that he will continue to consult political issues with the party's founding father Peter Pellegrini, even during the latter's upcoming tenure as the Slovak President. In addition, Sutaj Estok will no longer serve as the party's general manager and plans to handpick his successor for this role.

The new Voice-SD leader claimed that the party faces a difficult challenge. "We've been given an enormous amount of support and trust from the people over the past four years and now it's up to us to determine how we will pay back that trust with interest," he underlined. If the party is to survive its founder, it must base its politics and policies on longstanding and stable foundations.

Sutaj Estok perceives as top priority the party's internal stability as well as the stability of the governing coalition. This is predicated on the validity of the coalition agreement and compliance with the Government Manifesto. Sutaj Estok insists that the balance of power in the coalition hasn't changed in the wake of the 2024 presidential election and that Voice-SD has no interest in revising the coalition agreement, maintaining it still has a legitimate claim to the post of House chair.

The new Voice-SD chair emphasized the need to carry out the party's programme. "As social democrats, we will do our utmost to improve lives of the people in Slovakia. Let the people wage cultural wars in their private lives, if they wish, and embrace values as they see fit. But the task of the state is to take care of everyone economically," he said.

Sutaj Estok broached also the upcoming European election, which, in his view, will be about whether Slovakia wants to address its future at polling stations or with the use of violence. Pointing out to recent attempt on Prime Minister Robert Fico's (Smer-SD) life and the climate in society, he underlined that Slovakia needs reconciliation and unity. However, that unity is hindered by the opposition, its organisation of public protests and activities of the media. Because of this, Sutaj Estok called on everyone to respect the outcome of the 2023 election. "Let's express our political stances at the right place: a polling station," he added.