Five liberals leave NOVA

FIVE liberals who left the Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) party last year and later joined the NOVA political movement of Daniel Lipšic are now leaving NOVA as well. The group includes Juraj Miškov, Juraj Droba, Martin Chren, Jozef Kollár and Daniel Krajcer. All of them will remain in parliament.

FIVE liberals who left the Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) party last year and later joined the NOVA political movement of Daniel Lipšic are now leaving NOVA as well. The group includes Juraj Miškov, Juraj Droba, Martin Chren, Jozef Kollár and Daniel Krajcer. All of them will remain in parliament.

The reason for their departure from NOVA lies in the failure to meet the objective of bringing several centre-right parties under the single umbrella of NOVA and the loss of the possibility to push for liberal values in their own programme faction within NOVA, said Martina Fondrková, the parliamentary assistant of Miškov, as reported by the TASR newswire.

The faction was disbanded following a proposal by Lipšic that was approved by NOVA’s countrywide council.

“Our voters have given us a mandate to push for the values of liberal democracy,” the statement of the five defectors reads, as quoted by TASR. “We view it as a very strong and important commitment. All of our future political steps will benefit people who expressed their trust in us in the [last general] election.”

Lipšic responded that while the parting of the ways with the group of five liberals happened on fair terms, the teaming up of NOVA and the liberals was a mistake.

“The truth is that we aimed to create a synergic effect when we were teaming up and we expected voters to appreciate it,” Lipšic added, as quoted by TASR. “The voters did not appreciate it though, and that is a fact. In hindsight, it was a mistake.”

This was shown in the European Parliament elections in which number one candidate on the slate received fewer preferential votes than the number two person, Jana Žitňanská, Lipšic continued.

“Voters made it clear to us that the union was not entirely comprehensible,” he added, as quoted by TASR. “NOVA was set up as a party with no clear ideological boundaries. The problem is that there emerged factions that were liberal and conservative, and this did not work.”

He went on to wish the five MPs success in fulfilling their liberal objectives, but said that he personally does not view ethical issues – such as those promoted by the group – as significant at this point.

Meanwhile, chair of SaS Richard Sulík said that the departure of the liberals from NOVA proves that only the SaS can promote liberal ideas, as reported by the SITA newswire.

Droba, Chren, Kollár, Krajcer and Miškov left the liberal SaS in 2013 before teaming up with NOVA, headed by former Christian Democratic Movement (KDH) MP Lipšic. After some differences in opinion they were stripped of their posts in the top ranks of NOVA, and the party’s individual ideological factions were abolished in July of this year, whereupon the group threatened to leave. They decided to stay at that time, but they conditioned this with a public pledge from Lipšic that enough scope would be provided for liberal ideas in the party, TASR wrote.

Source: TASR, SITA

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports

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