Frešo remains at SDKÚ’s helm

AN ATTEMPT to oust SDKÚ chair Pavol Frešo at the party’s extraordinary congress in Senica on September 27 failed after an insufficient number of delegates voted to dismiss him. Subsequently, three of the party’s vice chairs resigned, the SITA newswire reported on same day.

AN ATTEMPT to oust SDKÚ chair Pavol Frešo at the party’s extraordinary congress in Senica on September 27 failed after an insufficient number of delegates voted to dismiss him. Subsequently, three of the party’s vice chairs resigned, the SITA newswire reported on same day.

Just 160 SDKÚ delegates voted for Frešo’s dismissal and thus the 200 votes needed to remove the chairman were not reached. On the other hand, 48 delegates voted against his dismissal and two votes were invalid, the TASR newswire reported.

“Those who knew that they were going to this congress and needed to gather an appropriate quorum [for my recall] are in the minority,” Frešo said after the vote, as quoted by TASR. “They were not, however, able to mobilise a sufficient number of supporters.”

Three of the party’s vice chairs, Viliam Novotný, Ivan Štefanec and Martin Fedor, resigned from their posts in response to Frešo’s decision not to leave his post in the SDKÚ. The atmosphere was tense, with some people shouting and some delegates appealing to Frešo to give up his post, according to SITA.

Fedor had planned to run as a candidate for the party’s chair in the event of Frešo’s departure.

“I did not see the possibility to cooperate with Frešo anymore,” Fedor said, as quoted by SITA. “The result is a great signal for Frešo: 3:1, he received a signal that there is big dissatisfaction [in the party].”

The SDKÚ’s treasurer, Ondrej Matej, a former MP and erstwhile advisor to former prime minister Iveta Radičová, announced his plan to challenge the incumbent SDKÚ chairman at the congress on September 22 as well. Matej, backed by the heads of the SDKÚ’s regional bodies from the Košice, Banská Bystrica, Prešov, Nitra and Žilina regions, said that the party has become so entangled in its internal problems that voters no longer understand it.

He decided not to seek the candidacy, however, after the Sme daily published information on September 26 that a loan taken out for the party in late 2011 could be indirectly guaranteed by loans from the firm of tycoon Vladimír Poór and Dušan Repák, who is lawyer of businessman Ivan Kmotrík, Sme reported.

“Life in politics is difficult,” said Matej before leaving congress early, as quoted by TASR. “Several things have occurred that I’d like to explain soon. For now, I’m leaving it up to the delegates to decide.”

(Source: TASR, SITA, Sme)

Compiled by Roman Cuprik from press reports
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