Oľga Keltošová, vice chairman of outgoing Premier Vladimír Mečiar's HZDS party, returned abruptly from her post as Slovak ambassador to the UN on October 11.
"Once I realised that the HZDS counts on me to further my political career...and because on October 12 the certificates [for newly elected members of Parliament] were to be given out, I decided to quit New York immediately," she said.
Keltošová returned amid mounting speculation that the next government, likely to be formed of parties of the former opposition, would use its powers to recall all ambassadors appointed by Mečiar since he assumed Presidential powers on March 3. If she had not claimed her deputy's mandate, Keltošová could have found herself without a job of any kind. "Even during the election campaign, I said that my future depends on what happens after elections," she said.
Keltošová was nominated for the UN post on March 24, and explained before her departure that "it was the HZDS that sent me there." The primary aim of her mission, Keltošová explained, was to win for Slovakia a post as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council. Although she failed in that aim, she said that she "at least prepared the ground for the next ambassador."
But Ján Fígeľ, Chairman of the Centre for European Politics and a deputy with the SDK opposition party, saw no reason to be kind. "There's nothing to be positively evaluated about her work," he said, adding that she had missed a lot of UN sessions because of her HZDS election campaign commitments.
Keltošová's return was marked by several bizarre aberrations from diplomatic procedure. On October 8, she handed her resignation to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan without first notifying the Slovak Foreign Ministry. Just before she left New York, she said in an interview with the private Rádio Twist that she would settle accounts with those who had betrayed the HZDS. "I'll give you guys a thrashing!" she said.
19. Oct 1998 at 0:00 | Slavomír Danko