On Wednesday, February 13, Smer candidate Ondrej Krajňák was elected by the Slovak parliament to chair the Board of the Nation’s Memory Institute (ÚPN). In a secret ballot he received 105 votes out of a total of 140 MPs present. His rival, Marián Gula, nominated by the People’s Platform, consisting of three opposition parties: Christian-Democratic Movement (KDH), Slovak democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ) and Most-Híd, received only 18 votes.
The results indicate that part of the opposition voted for Krajňák. At the hearing - prior to voting - before the parliamentary committee for human rights and ethnic minorities, Krajňák said he wanted to maintain continuity in the ÚPN’s work, but also to see to the high professionalism when working with sensitive materials. He thanked both his predecessors at the head of the institute. The TASR newswire wrote that at the hearing he pledged to always remain on the side of the suffering and the persecuted, adding that he considered defending the victims of totalitarian regimes a crucial role of the ÚPN, in cooperation with the General Prosecutor’s Office.
Krajňák cited research as another pillar of the ÚPN’s work, but went on to stress that he would require historians to view the past in a balanced way and also put responsibility on representatives of the wartime Slovak State. However, he refused to comment on the statue of Svätopluk that is situated in the courtyard of the Bratislava Castle.
After Ivan Petranský’s term as ÚPN head ended on January 31, the institute has been led by a legal representative and the former state secretary at the Culture Ministry, Jozef Lang.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
13. Feb 2013 at 14:00