A SURPRISING moment came during the election night when Pavol Paška of Smer announced his resignation from the post of Parliament Speaker. Paška’s leaving came on the heels of a widely criticised tender for purchasing an overpriced CT scanner in Piešťany Hospital of Alexander Winter, resulting in two protests against him in Bratislava and Košice, the TASR newswire reported.
“I do care about this city and I do care about Slovakia and I have enough,” Paška told the press. “That’s why my wife is here. Nobody will disrupt my family. That’s why I am announcing... that I will resign from the post of Speaker of Parliament because I want [to see] Slovakia running as a normal country and that several anarchists won’t do politics in the streets.”
More than 1,000 people gathered in Bratislava to demand Paška’s resignation on November 14 in a protest organised by independent MP Alojz Hlina. The first similar protest was organised by the MP in Košice before Paška’s house where around 300 people gathered on November 11, according to TASR.
The opposition tried to oust Paška from power on November 10 due to his alleged involvement in the medical companies, especially the Medical Group, which won the competition over purchasing a new overpriced CT scanner by the Piešťany hospital. Ultimately. however, Paška did not face a no-confidence vote after Smer MPs did not support the programme of the special session initiated by the opposition.
The opposition also claimed that Paška did not publish his incomes from the sales of shares in private companies, as well as his arrogant approach to the opposition, as reported by TASR.
Since the very beginning, Paška has denied any connection with the case of the CT scanner, while also rejecting the claims about him having some activities in tax havens.
He responded to the earlier claim of independent MP Daniel Lipšic who said that the owner of Medical Group and a company called Penta Enterprises Ltd. have registered addresses at the same cottage in Belize.
“The circle has been closed,” Lipšic said, as quoted by TASR.