SEVERAL months after being nominated to the Education and Culture Commission in the Bratislava suburb of Lamač, a man police regard as the boss of a Mafia group in the capital, Juraj Ondrejčák, resigned from his post.
According to Lamač Mayor Oľga Keltošová, Ondrejčák, whose nickname is Piťo, quit after the media reported his nomination. "He said he didn't want to hurt Lamač or the town council," she said.
Ondrejčák was originally nominated to the commission by its chairwoman and Lamač councillor Mária Imrichová, who ran for the opposition Christian Democrats (KDH) in last December's elections. He is a close friend of Martin Rehák, son of Ladislav Rehák, the largest official individual sponsor of the KDH (Sk2.1 million) from 2002-2005, according to the database of the Fair Play Alliance.
Peter Čiernik, the KDH's vice-chairman for regional affairs, said Ondrejčák's decision to quit was "good news". The local KDH wing in Lamač until then had refused to act on recommendations from senior KDH officials that Ondrejčák be dismissed.
Lamač councillor Radoslav Olekšák (SDKÚ, Smer, SNS) said he saw no reason to get rid of Ondrejčák, as he has never been convicted of a crime. "Let the courts decide," he told the Sme daily.
"We can't act on the basis of media recommendations," said Renáta Ocilková, the head of the Education and Culture Commission.
Zuzana Wienk of the Fair-Play Aliance NGO said that while it is generally important for local party branches to have strong powers in a democracy, sometimes it produces negative results. "This and other cases show that political parties are not homogenous in terms of their values, and that the national leadership is often more sensitive to ethics questions than local structures."
26. Mar 2007 at 0:00 | Tom Nicholson