The chairman of Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) party, Richard Sulík, told a press conference on February 27 that he will not leave the party's slate over recently released video recordings of conversations he had with businessman Marián Kočner but Sulík did promise to give up his parliamentary mandate if he does not receive the most preferential votes on the SaS slate in the March 10 election, the TASR newswire reported.
"I want to give our voters the opportunity to say whether they believe that I should represent them in parliament despite my meetings and SMS communications with Marián Kočner. If I don't get the most preferential votes on the SaS slate, I'll return my mandate to the party," Sulík stated, as quoted by TASR. Sulík again expressed regret for meeting with Kočner, stressed that Kočner is not a friend, and said that he is no longer meeting the businessman.
The recordings indicate that Sulík was apparently willing to replace Prime Minister Iveta Radičová with her party colleague, Finance Minister Ivan Mikloš, before the government fell in October 2011. Sulík also reportedly told Kočner that several coalition MPs were offered €300,000 each if they would vote for then-General Prosecutor Dobroslav Trnka in his bid for re-election. Though one of those MPs was apparently from SaS, Sulík did not report the matter to the police, TASR wrote.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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