CONSTRUCTION Minister Igor Štefanov remains in office after a no-confidence motion initiated by opposition parties was defeated. Of 121 deputies present for the vote in parliament on October 29, 54 voted for and 66 against the motion, the SITA newswire reported.
Despite the fact that Slovak National Party (SNS) nominee Štefanov had the support of the cabinet, most MPs from the Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS), another coalition party, refrained from voting.
Explaining their reasons for initiating the non-confidence vote, the opposition parties said they believe that Štefanov has lost the trust of the EU and harmed the good name of Slovakia abroad. They also said Štefanov had failed to provide transparency over the so-called bulletin-board tender.
The European Commission announced earlier this month that it would not reimburse Slovakia the €11 million that has already been paid to the consortium that was awarded the contract. The tender was originally supposed to be EU-funded.
The vote was the third time Štefanov has faced a non-confidence motion since being appointed to his ministerial post in April 2009. He replaced Marian Janušek, who was forced to resign over the tender controversy.
Prime Minister Robert Fico has said that if an audit at the ministry shows that money from the tender was used inappropriately, he will sack Štefanov, SITA wrote.