FIVE liberals, defectors from the Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) party, will remain in Daniel Lipšic’s NOVA party, following a decision reached on July 18.

The liberal MPs - Juraj Miškov, Daniel Krajcer, Martin Chren, Jozef Kollár and Juraj Droba - conditioned their staying in NOVA with Lipšic’s public pledge to make more room for liberal ideas in the party, the TASR newswire reported.

“The members of the Liberal Agreement (LIDO) civic association consider the decision on the part of Daniel Lipšic to abolish ideological factions in the party and the related alterations in the party statutes as a foul against a loyal partner,” reads a statement issued by the liberals, as quoted by TASR. The statement adds that Lipšic’s initiative was put forward “in an indecent way”.

The statement refers to the most recent session of the party presidium in late June, during which the individual ideological factions within the party were jettisoned and the liberals were deprived of their management posts.

“The key principle that governed the fusion within the party – namely that the grouping should be a broad one involving three factions (liberal, conservative and civil-democratic) with the chairmen of the individual platforms having the right of veto – has been abolished,” complained Kollár, as quoted by TASR.

At NOVA’s June 28 presidium session in Detva, the presidium members changed the party statutes, abolishing the ideological factions within the party. Kollár and his liberal faction opposed the change, charging that Lipšic first had the presidium dismiss 20 of its members in absentia in order to lower the quorum to be able to pass the changes. They accused Lipšic of undemocratic and authoritarian practices.

Lipšic admitted prior to the presidium session that he erred last year when he invited the liberals to join his party. He told the Sme daily that his party’s result in the European Parliament elections was a disappointment and he blames this on the liberal wing of the party. NOVA won one seat in the EP, with its number two candidate, Jana Žitňanská, winning over the leader of the slate, Kollár.

Lipšic, however, insists that the change of statutes does not mean liberals are no longer welcome in the party.

Source: TASR, TSS archive

Compiled by Michaela Terenzani from press reports.
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information
presented in its Flash News postings.