On January 30, President Ivan Gašparovič accepted resignation documents submitted to him the day before by Defence Minister František Kašický (Smer-SD). He also accepted Prime Minister Robert Fico's proposal to appoint State Secretary of the Defence Ministry Jaroslav Baška as the new Defence Minister. The proposal to dismiss Baška as State Secretary in preparation for this move was approved by the Government during an extraordinary session earlier on that day.
Kašický handed in his resignation to Fico on Friday, January 25. The now former defence minister decided to step down over overpriced tenders amounting to Sk3.9 billion (€115 million) for cleaning and grounds maintenance work at his ministry. In the parliamentary elections of 2002, Baška ran for the Smer-SD party, and was a member of the Slovak Parliament's Permanent Mission to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE). He was also elected to Parliament in the 2006 elections, but gave up his mandate in order to take up the post of Defence Ministry State Secretary. TASR
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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1. Feb 2008 at 15:00