MP Mikuláš Huba has left the Ordinary People and Independent Personalities (OĽaNO) caucus, OĽaNO chairman Igor Matovič confirmed to the TASR newswire on May 27.

Huba announced his departure from the caucus on his Facebook profile without clearly stating the reason. He allegedly is not about to enter a different party. Huba wrote that while he saw 100 reasons for not running on OĽaNO’s slate in the 2012 general election, there were 101 reasons for doing so. That ratio has since changed, however, so he has decided to leave Matovič’s caucus.

Matovič believes, according to TASR, that the recent European Parliament (EP) elections have shown that the party is more conservative than it appeared, with Protestant evangelising Branislav Škripek elected as the only OĽaNO candidate via preferential balloting, while the more liberal Jozef Viskupič (the slate leader) remained empty-handed. Huba describes himself as a liberal.

“I regret that the fact that the single EP mandate of the party was acquired by a member of the conservative wing is viewed as a problem by our liberal voters,” said Matovič. Matovič nevertheless believes that Huba will continue to cooperate with OĽaNO. “We remain close friends,” Matovič added.

Huba, a geographer, environmentalist and civic activist, is the third MP to leave the originally 16-member OĽaNO caucus. The first to leave was eccentric businessman and activist Alojz Hlina, while notorious parliamentary absentee Mária Ritomská was second.

Traditionally, the person who is next at the top of the slate obtains a vacated seat if an MP leaves parliament altogether. Huba has not given up his MP mandate, however.

“Our caucus is a voluntary grouping, and its goal is to replace ‘the voting machines’ of political parties in parliament by independent personalities who decide based on their consciousness,” head of the OĽaNO caucus Richard Vašečka told the SITA newswire. “Colleague Huba got his mandate from his voters, and we respect his independence.” He added that the caucus also respects Huba’s conviction that he would better represent his voters as an independent MP.

(Source: TASR, SITA)
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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