One of the most popular female politicians in Slovakia, former prime minister Iveta Radičová, has officially left the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ) after 2,004 days spent as an active member. Her departure was confirmed by a letter which she delivered to the party’s headquarters on May 3, the Sme daily reported.
Since she entered top-level politics in November 2006, as the SDKÚ-nominated labour minister, she has consistently been the party's most popular member, outpolling even its founding leader, Mikuláš Dzurinda.
Radičová never joined any of the party's wings or factions. She announced her intention to depart the political scene in October 2011, shortly after her government lost a no-confidence vote over support for the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) bailout fund.
Radičová currently lectures in social sciences at Comenius University and next year will have a short teaching stay at Oxford University.
She said she still considers the SDKÚ to be a pro-reform party that has improved the position of Slovakia. But when asked whether she would attend the next party congress, at which the SDKÚ will vote for a new leader, she said that she had no reason to do so.
“Since I am leaving, I would consider it inadequate, unfair and above my position and competences to interfere with the decision-making process,” she said, as quoted by Sme.
Radičová added that she would not endorse any of the three candidates running for the SDKÚ's top post: former justice minister Lucia Žitňanská, chair of the Bratislava Self-Governing Region Pavol Frešo, and Viliam Novotný, representing Košice Region.
Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports
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