Smer leader Robert Fico, speaking at a press conference after round-table talks with social partners held on Wednesday, March 28, indirectly confirmed that the party's general manager, Ján Richter, will become the new minister for labour, social affairs and the family.
"The sector must be headed by someone who has the ability to manage very demanding processes but also has a certain level of social feeling. It must also be someone who is identified with the inner structures of social democracy, as it is via the social sector that our priorities are frequently defined. Right now I can say that Mr Richter meets all these criteria," Fico said, as quoted by the TASR newswire, adding that final confirmation will be forthcoming on Friday (March 30).
Smer MP Brano Ondruš is in the frame for the post of labour ministry state secretary. Fico also confirmed reports that Smer's two parliamentary deputy-speaker posts will be filled by female MPs. The former head of the parliamentary conflicts of interest committee, Renáta Zmajkovičová, is set to take up one of the posts, while Jana Laššáková will be nominated for the other.
According to Fico, Stanislav Becík is currently among the candidates for the as-yet unfilled post of agriculture minister. Becík held the same post between 2008 and 2009, but as a Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS) nominee. He was recalled by HZDS chairman Vladimír Mečiar after appointing managers to the state forestry company that were reportedly closer to Smer than to his own party at the time. All the nominations should be confirmed after the party's presidium session on Friday, March 30.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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