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ANO expel Lintner's group and terminate coalition agreement

A SPECIAL New Citizen’s Alliance (ANO) congress, held in Žilina on September 11, decided to terminate the coalition agreement with the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ), the Hungarian Coalition Party (SMK) and the Christian-Democratic Movement (KDH), according to the SITA news wire.

The congress delegates also expelled five party vice-chairmen, plus several deputies who support the faction led by Ľubomír Lintner. The majority of delegates at the conference expressed support for party leader Pavol Rusko.

Congress delegates approved a change in the party’s statutes and afterwards expelled the group of five who back Lintner. The group of the expelled consists of Ľubomír Lintner, Jirko Malchárek, František Tóth, Ľubo Roman, Alexander Koval, Peter Biroš, Stanislav Kropilák, Imrich Hamarčak and Rudolf Chmel.

ANO leader Rusko announced after the congress that the delegates called on deputies from the Lintner group to stop using the ANO name. He will inform Speaker of Parliament Pavol Hrušovský which deputies can use the ANO name. Thus the ANO parliamentary faction consists of only four deputies, who are also ANO members.

Lintner told the press after the congress that the faction has 13 members. Lintner's group has called Rusko, who is returning to parliament after being ousted from his ministerial post, to leave the faction. Lintner is unable to imagine cooperation between ANO members and deputies expelled from the party.

The ANO national council will elect a new party vice-chair by December 31. "The congress called on Lintner's group to return deputy mandates and to launch a new political party," said Rusko. Rusko reported that the four ANO deputies will not bound by the coalition agreement, but because they have voted for the four-year programme of the Slovak cabinet, they will support some of the cabinet’s bills in parliament.

In a response to the ANO's congress, SMK leader Béla Bugár told SITA that his party would sign an agreement with Lintner's group. SDKÚ deputy Roman Vavrík expected expulsion of the group around Lintner at the ANO congress. According to him, the party members decided to oust those who hold a different opinion. KDH deputy Jozef Miklušičák regards removal of the deputies from the party to be an internal party issue.

KDH leader Pavol Hrušovský is ready to sign a cooperation agreement between SDKÚ, SMK and KDH and afterwards also an agreement with the Lintner's group. He stressed that the Monday's parliamentary session will show the ratio between the opposition and the coalition.

Compiled by Marta Ďurianová from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

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