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Most ministers chosen but economy minister not yet named

Future Prime Minister Robert Fico from Smer party has confirmed a list of nominees for most posts in the forthcoming government and at least three members of the 10-member cabinet will be non-partisan figures, the TASR newswire reported.

Future Prime Minister Robert Fico from Smer party has confirmed a list of nominees for most posts in the forthcoming government and at least three members of the 10-member cabinet will be non-partisan figures, the TASR newswire reported.

Smer’s deputy chair Robert Kaliňák will return to the post of interior minister and another Smer deputy chair, Marek Maďarič, will again head the Culture Ministry.

The Finance Ministry will be led by former state secretary (i.e. deputy minister) of that department, Peter Kažimír, while former finance minister Ján Počiatek will get the job of head of the Transport, Construction and Regional Development Ministry.

The defence ministry will be headed by Smer’s Bratislava Region chief Martin Glváč who was formerly a state secretary at the now-abolished Construction and Regional Development Ministry. The Environment Ministry will be the responsibility of Peter Žiga, who will have his first stint in government.

Dušan Čaplovič will be at the helm of the Education Ministry, Smer’s general manager Ján Richter will lead the Labour Ministry and former economy minister Ľubomír Jahnátek will become the new agriculture minister.

Fico has presented three non-partisan candidates for ministerial posts: the former chair of the Slovak Bar Association, Tomáš Borec, will be nominated for the post of justice minister, the former member of the board of directors of state-run Všeobecná zdravotná poisťovňa (VšZP) health insurance company, Zuzana Zvolenská, will head the Health Ministry and diplomat Miroslav Lajčák will be foreign affairs minister.

The nominee for the post of economy minister remains uncertain. The media has speculated that that Smer might nominate Ján Valko, the former head of the state-run JAVYS nuclear decommissioning company, but Fico later announced that Valko will serve as the director of the Slovak Information Service (SIS) intelligence agency, the Sme daily reported on April 2.

Fico will also not choose a future deputy prime minister for human rights and minorities because he plans to scrap that position and instead nominate a deputy prime minister responsible for investment activities, with Ľubomír Vážny, former transport minister, to take that post, TASR wrote.

Political scientist Grigorij Mesežnikov said that even though it is a pleasant surprise to see experts instead of party nominees as ministers in some posts of the new government, he still expects these people will be loyal to the party’s social democratic thinking.

“Smer has put its strong people into positions where they will push forward the party thinking,” said Mesežnikov, as quoted by TASR. “At some ministries where Smer does not probably have enough experts or the posts are problematic and party nominations would not bring the expected results, Smer placed [outside] experts.” He added that it is unrealistic to expect that ministers who are not members of Smer would create independent policies and diverge from the party’s approach.

Source: TASR, Sme

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

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