Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák is using police trade unions to secure the participation of policemen in a rally to support him before a parliamentary no-confidence vote planned for Friday, January 29, the opposition Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ) has claimed.
SDKÚ vice-chairman Milan Hort said he regarded such efforts as an unprecedented attempt to politicise the police force in the post-communist era. "What is minister Kaliňák hiding himself behind? Behind trade unionists' skirts?" he asked.
Hort published a letter that he said can be seen on all police-force bulletin boards. The announcement contains the time of the meeting, and suggests that buses will depart according to a set schedule. The announcement suggests that it is necessary to spread the information immediately among all policemen. The chairman of the respective trade union organisation requires members to specify the expected number of participants and notes that only policemen who are not in service during the rally can take part.
According to an e-mail that the SDKÚ said it acquired from an anonymous rank-and-file policeman, trade unionists with close contacts to Kaliňák started recruiting policemen for the meeting to support the minister. Hort claimed that most policemen consider such behaviour to be unjustified pressure but that many were willing to participate in such a rally because they were promised a trip to Bratislava and were told they could count on the minister's gratitude.
The opposition want to have Kaliňák sacked due to a police failure which resulted in an international scandal earlier this month, when a package of explosive used as a sample for sniffer-dog training was left on board a plane which then flew to Dublin. SITA
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
28. Jan 2010 at 14:00