"I will win... the KDH needs a change," former interior minister Vladimír Palko said in an interview with The Slovak Spectator a few days before the the Christian Democratic Movement's (KDH) party congress. Palko, who served in Dzurinda's government between 2002 and 2006, is challenging incumbent Pavol Hrušovský for the party's top post. Palko was the Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee for Defence and Security from 1998 to 2002 and served as vice-chairman of the KDH from 1998 to 2006.
The Slovak Spectator (TSS): What will the outcome of KDH elections be?
Vladimír Palko (VP): I will win. I think the KDH needs a change. We have several problems. Firstly, we have been mourning too long over not being in the Robert Fico government. The second problem is that we are not competitive in economic and social issues. We are also not able to admit these problems.
TSS: Political analysts say you are more vehement than Hrušovský and that under your leadership, the KDH might become more "Taliban-like" or, to put it politely, more conservative.
VP: On one hand, I am a conservative politician, but on the other hand, I have been the one who has opened the door to new faces in the KDH and nurtured a new generation of politicians in their thirties.
TSS: Moreover, according to analysts, the KDH is in crisis and might not get into parliament during the next elections. Do you think they are right?
VP: In the former they are right, in the latter they are not. The KDH will surely be in parliament.
TSS: And why is the KDH in crisis?
VP: The KDH was established and has existed on the principle of a fight against communism and post-communism. Today, within part of the KDH, there is a devastating regret that we are not in the government with Fico, while punishments for those who refused to form a coalition with Fico continue. The last meeting of the KDH Council showed this clearly. I proposed Lipšic for vice-chairman, he had no counter-candidate, but the council still did not elect him. In backstage conversations, I was openly told that this was a form of retaliation.
TSS: What other problems are in the KDH?
VP:I have always had trouble enforcing new economic issues that I have prepared with Milan Krajniak in the KDH. The flat tax, for example. I proposed it to the leadership in 2002 with Krajniak. We wasted a lot of time as first I had to argue with the leadership. That is one of the reasons why I want to have a bigger impact on the decision-making process. The post of chairman would give me greater influence.
18. Jun 2007 at 0:00 | Ľuba Lesná