SLOVAKIA is seeing another round of MP defections from the current parliamentary parties elected in the March 2012 general election. Lucia Žitňanská, Miroslav Beblavý and Magdaléna Vášáryová have left the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ) on December 12, the Sme.sk website reported. Žitňanská explained she is leaving because of “the recent vagueness of attitudes of the SDKÚ, the loss of content and the inability to make political decisions”, as reported by the Sme.sk website.

The MPs do not plan on joining any other parties, with Žitňanská explaining that she needs time to decide on her next move. She did not say whether she will run in future elections.

The media reported that one reason behind their departure was the SDKÚ regional branch’s response in Banská Bystrica after the first round of the regional elections. After the party’s nominee, Ľudovít Kaník, lost to far-right extremist Marian Kotleba, the party refused to support the winner of the first round, Smer’s Vladimír Maňka, who lost to Kotleba in the second round, the Sme daily wrote.

The MPs have also criticised party chairman Pavol Frešo for accepting lawyer Dušan Repák’s request to become an SDKÚ member. Repák represented Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS) MPs in the Constitutional Court proceedings when the party attempted to abolish the Special Court during current Supreme Court President Štefan Harabin’s term as justice minister (2006-09). He also defended Jozef Majský, known from a case involving embezzlement in non-banking financial companies BMG Invest and Horizont. He is also close to businessman Ivan Kmotrík, Sme wrote. Repák has since left the party. According to the SITA newswire, several members objected to his membership and threatened to leave.

In May 2012, Žitňanská lost the battle for the top SDKÚ post to Frešo and subsequently teamed up with Beblavý to found a project called ‘We are Creating Slovakia’. This initiative did not sit well with other powerbrokers and members of the party and the duo had to explain their actions to the SDKÚ presidium. Both Žitňanská and Beblavý emerged from the six-hour session without any punishment, with Frešo declaring afterwards that Žitňanská enjoys his full trust, TASR wrote.

Ten other MPs have already left parties on whose slates they ran in the 2012 general elections. Daniel Lipšic and Jana Žitňanská left the Christian Democratic Movement (KDH) and founded New Majority (NOVA). Also Radoslav Procházka left KDH, but remained independent. Later, MPs Daniel Krajcer, Juraj Miškov, Jozef Kollár, Juraj Droba and Martin Chren left Freedom and Solidarity (SaS). Ordinary People and Independent Personalities (OĽaNO) also lost two MPs: Alojz Hlina and Mária Ritomská. After the departure of the three politicians, the number of SDKÚ MPs in parliament dropped to eight. If the party loses another MP, its parliamentary caucus will disappear, based on the new rules cleared by the deputies in September.