Voice-SD to Continue Talks on Coalition Only with Smer-SD and SNS

Voice-SD to Continue Talks on Coalition Only with Smer-SD and SNS
Voice-SD chair Peter Pelegrini, stock photo by TASR

Bratislava, October 10 (TASR) - Voice-SD will continue further talks on the formation of the next government exclusively with Smer-SD and Slovak National Party (SNS) from now on, in line with an unanimous decision taken by the party leadership on Tuesday, Voice-SD chair Peter Pellegrini announced on the same day.

The Voice-SD chair also confirmed that his earlier statement that two former prime ministers shouldn't both hold posts in the new government still holds true.

Pellegrini has found more overlaps in programmes with Smer-SD and SNS, and praised talks with these parties as constructive. He also perceives the three-party coalition as more practical, but if the cooperation doesn't work out Voice-SD will leave the government.

"I'm convinced that Voice-SD can fulfil the majority of its election priorities in this coalition and that's what we find crucial," stated Voice-SD chair. He added that SNS will be a fully-fledged coalition member and its standing is going to reflect the election result it had garnered.

According to Pellegrini, Slovakia doesn't need any hodgepodge coalitions at this time or the laying down of red lines. "A stable government means that the tragedy from the previous elected term won't happen again," he said.

Pellegrini underlined that the shape of a future potential coalition was decided also by Christian Democrats' (KDH) choice to rule out any participation in a cabinet with Smer-SD of Robert Fico and KDH's emphasis on its red lines against Progressive Slovakia (PS). Voice-SD also won't let any post-election impasse take place. "The option of no government emerging in Slovakia is absolutely unacceptable," stated Pellegrini, who voiced his appreciation for Progressive Slovakia's offer to make him prime minister. He added that he never cared for the post, though.

In Pellegrini's view, a hypothetical coalition featuring conservatives and progressive liberals would have been a likely source of conflicts in the government and the Voice-SD chair also didn't like the way PS, KDH and SaS approached the informal talks. He pointed out that KDH changed its stance several times, the parties were attacking each other, even sending public messages to each other over social networks. This convinced Pellegrini that Simecka is not ready for the post of prime minister. "I've seen lack of experience and amateurism in him," he said.

Pellegrini underlined that in the government Voice-SD will guarantee the continuation of Slovakia's EU and NATO memberships and if the cabinet planned to change its foreign-political orientation, Voice-SD would leave. "If someone wanted to leave Slovakia out of fear that we will no longer stay on as members of the EU or NATO, my message to them is: there's no need to pack up your suitcases," he noted. "If SNS joins the coalition based on these values, then Mr. chairman [Andrej Danko] must guarantee that his political party will respect that line."

Robert Fico as the chair of Smer-SD, the election winner, has been granted a mandate to lead talks on the formation of the next government. Informal parallel talks were led also by PS, which wished to forge a four-party coalition with Voice-SD, KDH and SaS.