"We have already scored several own goals, so now we are ready to score goals in our rival's net."
Ľudovít Černák, SDK's new campaign manager
"We have already scored several own goals," Černák admitted, "so now we are ready to score goals in our rival's net. The SDK wants to wipe the slate clean and start from scratch."
SDK leader Mikuláš Dzurinda reported that Černák was the only candidate and got appointed mainly because of the managerial abilities he had gained as the director of ZSNP Žiar nad Hronom, Slovakia's sole aluminum producer. Another reason for choosing him, Černák guessed, was because of his vision of how the SDK campaign should be conducted. "We will make it more dynamic," Černák said, "We'll focus on regional structures more than we used to."
However, the opposition daily Sme put his appointment in the context of a power balance within the SDK, pointing out Černák's DU affiliation, while stressing that Dzurinda is Vice-Chairman of the Christian Democratic Movement (KDH), the more conservative branch of the group. "Černák's entrance on to the political scene connects with the fact that the SDK leader is a member of the KDH and that the DU did not agree with the work of Paczelt's team before the [media] affair...," the paper wrote.
Černák neither confirmed nor denied the daily's claim, but admitted that the DU had long criticized Paczelt's performance for lack of new ideas. "Simply, it began to deteriorate into preaching to the converted," he said of Paczelt's campaign.
It seems that by appointing a new campaign manager, the SDK wants to close the book on the bribery scandal. "Paczelt resigned from his post... bringing upon himself a sufficient amount of political responsibility," said Martin Lengyel, SDK spokesman.
"We decided that managerial responsibility should be connected with the political one," Černák concluded.
2. Jul 1998 at 0:00 | Slavomír Danko