Bratislava, April 16 (TASR) – Interior Minister Tomas Drucker (a Smer-SD nominee) announced his resignation at a press conference on Monday, adding that dismissing Police Corps president Tibor Gaspar would be neither correct nor just.
People at the rallies organised across Slovakia have been demanding Gaspar’s ousting since the double murder of investigative journalist Jan Kuciak and his girlfriend.
“I was expected to reduce this polarisation by dismissing Tibor Gaspar. However, I want to preserve my integrity. If I think that Tibor Gaspar’s direct ousting is wrong, and so if I’m to create a certain polarisation instead of reducing it, I think that, given these circumstances, I have no right to remain in the post of interior minister. So, I have decided to hand over my resignation to the president,” said Drucker.
Following a three-week audit at the Police Corps, the outgoing interior minister has come to the conclusion that “it’s neither right nor fair to dismiss Tibor Gaspar”. He added that there are grounds for his departure, however. “Mainly in the form of polarising society, which is directly related to him and his keeping the post, which the police corps president could have given up,” said Drucker, adding that he himself has neither asked nor suggested Gaspar to leave. Drucker and Gaspar only discussed the issue.
Drucker is aware that Gaspar has been viewed negatively, mainly due to his links to former interior minister Robert Kalinak. “If I haven’t found any evidence for which I would dismiss him, no matter how unpleasant that is for those who have asked for it, I can’t say anything else,” Drucker said, adding that he’s leaving because he wasn’t able to calm down the atmosphere in society.
Drucker announced his resignation to Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini (Smer-SD). “He’s acknowledged it. Of course, he doesn’t like it,” said Drucker, who is leaving the post after three weeks, thus becoming the shortest serving interior minister ever.
Despite stepping down so early, Drucker is glad that he managed to submit to the interministerial comment phase a proposal for changes in the Police Corps. He hopes that the changes will help the police to move forward and that the coalition will implement them.
The outgoing minister is set to speak about his resignation with President Andrej Kiska in “the next hours or days”. He added that he is unable to say who might replace him in the post. Drucker is now retiring to civilian life and will need some time to figure out what his next job will be.
Drucker replaced Kalinak in the interior minister post after the fall of Robert Fico’s third government, which happened after the murders of Kuciak and his girlfriend. Before the government crisis, Drucker served as health minister in Fico’s cabinet. After taking over the interior minister post, Drucker asked for some time to decide on Gaspar’s future. The public, the Opposition and the president have been demanding Gaspar’s ousting ever since the journalist and his girlfriend were murdered.