WHO needs enemies when you've got friends like leader of the New Citizen's Alliance (ANO), Pavel Rusko?
ANO decided to join opposition parties Smer and HZDS in their call for a special session of parliament to discuss the recent allegations of cronyism and corruption stemming from transcripts of conversations between businessman Ján Badžgoň and Gabriel Palacka of Prime Minister Mikuláš Dzurinda's Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ).
Smer and HZDS could have easily found the 30 MPs needed to call a special session from within their own ranks without ANO's support. So what exactly did ANO hope to gain by the move?
Well, one thing the party certainly gained was condemnation from the other coalition partners. SDKÚ MP Roman Vavrík accused ANO of breaking the coalition contract, and said he could not see how the coalition could work together in the future. And it is difficult to see how the alliance will be able to keep going with one of the partners helping the opposition gain space to shake public confidence in the coalition.
It's almost a shame that the leaked transcripts from the phone-tapping scandal seem to have dried up. It would have been interesting to hear a tapped conversation between Dzurinda and coalition partner Rusko, although the transcripts might require heavy editing to remove the expletives. Hard work is needed to repair the damage to their relationship just five months after this government was elected.
With a referendum on EU entry due in a couple of months, and calls for a NATO referendum on the streets, the government needs to be seen to be united. With so many other voices calling for action, perhaps Rusko would have been better letting opposition politicians do their job, and remembering that sometimes silence is golden.
10. Mar 2003 at 0:00