FNM leaders Kaník and Sklenár fired by parliament

Three and a half months after proposing that Ľudovít Kaník, president of the FNM privatisation agency, and Ladislav Sklenár, Kaník's deputy, be fired, Prime Minister Mikuláš Dzurinda finally got his way.

In an October 20 vote in the 150-seat parliament, 107 MP's from the government and the opposition supported Kaník's dismissal from the head of the FNM, while 21 were against and three abstained.

Of the 132 deputies present in the chamber, 73 voted to sack Sklenár while 53 were against and six abstained.

In his address to parliament before the vote, Dzurinda said that Kaník and Sklenár had lost the confidence of the cabinet during their handling of the disposition of gas storage company Nafta Gbely. Only the quick action of the cabinet had prevented the sale of Nafta abroad, he said, while the FNM leadership had failed to inform the cabinet about such crucial issues as Nafta Gbely's acquisition of Nafta Trade, another gas storage firm. The conduct of Sklenár and Kaník had been unprofessional and non-transparent throughout, Dzurinda said.

The new candidate for the presidency of the FNM is reputed to be Vladimír Ondruš, who served as Deputy Prime Minister in both the 1989-1990 government of Milan Čič (currently chief justice of the Constitutional Court) and the 1990-1991 government of Vladimír Mečiar.

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