Former Slovak National Party (SNS) leader Ján Slota has been ejected from the party he led for over 15 years, SNS press secretary Zuzana Kohútková confirmed on April 24, as reported by the TASR newswire. She said that Slota had been dismissed due to alleged misuse of party property.
"The decision was reached by a two-thirds majority at today's presidium session," said Kohútková.
"Someone who dismisses must also have a reason to dismiss. And there's no such reason," Slota commented, before hanging up the phone, TASR reported.
The party presidium, as a disciplinary body, can impose three types of punishment: rebuke, dismissal from a party post, or dismissal from the party itself. Current SNS leader Andrej Danko said on Monday that Slota had promised financial aid to the party in exchange for having his powers as an honorary chairman strengthened. But in response Danko said that he would not be "backed up against the wall like this". "The financial situation of the SNS has been stabilised thanks to its membership base without the money of Ján Slota," Danko claimed, adding that the party expected help from Slota when it comes to repaying debts created during his tenure as chairman (1994-2012, with a hiatus in 2001-03 when he headed the rival Real Slovak National Party and Anna Belousovová was the official leader of the SNS).
The SNS initiated disciplinary proceedings against Slota over suspicions of misuse of party property which created "a threat to its existence". On January 10 the party presidium acknowledged information concerning "the grave economic situation of the SNS and its pending debt toward Privat Banka". On March 28, Danko conceded that the party was still repaying debts accumulated during its March 2012 election campaign. According to TASR's information, the SNS received up to €1.5 million before the election. "Almost 50 percent of that was covered by income from the state budget, with the remaining sum to be paid during a certain time period," he said at the time.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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25. Apr 2013 at 10:00