Agriculture Minister Stanislav Becík, a nominee of the junior ruling coalition party the Movement for a Democratic (HZDS), told journalists on August 26, prior to a cabinet session, that he would resign from the post of agriculture minister on Thursday, August 27.
"As today [Wednesday] is the cabinet session, I will efficiently discuss seeking help for the eastern Slovak region. So there will be no giving back the mandate today. But tomorrow, I will do it," Becík said, as reported by the SITA newswire.
The agriculture minister also told journalists that he only heard about the call from his party for him to resign from the media. He expects that someone from the HZDS will tell him "face to face" and then he will act. “The mandate belongs to the party, not to Becík. Becík had borrowed it, in order to efficiently carry out the post of the minister. When the party has decided that I have to return the mandate, I will do so,” he commented.
Becík expressed the belief that his successor would be an expert who would serve in the post even more efficiently and help improve the HZDS’s political prospects. He said he wanted to step down from the ministerial post with honour and continue to be a human being.
The reasons for Becík’s dismissal have not been spelled out clearly, but there has been speculation in the Slovak media that he appointed people close to Prime Minister Fico’s Smer party to senior positions at troubled state forestry company Lesy SR, angering the leadership of his own HZDS party. The prime minister has expressed satisfaction with Becík’s performance as a minister.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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