Paška's resignation may result in early general election, say analysts

Pavol Paška's resignation as parliamentary chairman may quite well result in an early general election - even though it might not appear so now, analysts Michal Horský and Martin Klus told TASR newswire.

Pavol Paška's resignation as parliamentary chairman may quite well result in an early general election - even though it might not appear so now, analysts Michal Horský and Martin Klus told TASR newswire.

"This step may lead to a further destabilisation of the political scene, and - even though it might not appear so - to an early general election," said Horský.

According to Horský, public opinion obviously wasn't content with Prime Minister Robert Fico withdrawing only two relatively lesser figures from the political chessboard - health minister Zuzana Zvolenská and parliamentary vice-chair Renata Zmajkovičová - over the CT scanner scandal in Piešťany Hospital, TASR reported.

"It appears that despite the Opposition's weakness, the scandal was so unbearable that the parliamentary chairman decided to resign from such an immensely important post," said Horský.

Klus said that he had expected that Paška would resign if Smer's mayor in Košice Richard Raši lost the mayoral election - which he won, however.

"Nevertheless, Paška's decision ... has moved Slovakia further to a deeper division in Smer," said Klus, adding that he personally hasn't been ruling out the option of an early election for some time already, with the odds now going up.

"Paška is a player of the heaviest calibre in Smer. So if he's stepping down and the rest of the party pretends that this is how the party is dealing with corruption, it may have a far deeper impact on the party as such," said Klus, adding that Paška was most probably forced to resign by the party in order to prevent more damage from taking place.

At the same time, the parliamentary chairman's resignation - following the removal of Zmajkovičová and Zvolenská - confirms that Paška's faction within Smer is beginning to lose ground. Paška, now moving away from the spotlight, may attempt to consolidate his power, which obviously won't be liked by the other power faction within the party based in the west of the country, said Klus as quoted by TASR.

An early election in September next year may suit Smer in order to maintain its current strong position on the political scene, having also in mind that the opposition still isn't consolidated, as it's preparing itself for the general election in March 2016, said the analyst.

According to Klus, Smer relies on large turnouts, and so it doesn't like the usually foul weather in March. Slovak elections initially were in June but the fall of the government in 1994 resulted in a switch to the autumn, but returned to June in 2006 with the fall of a second government, and arrived at March when a third government fell.

"The only thing that doesn't suit Smer on September is the question how to explain its voters that why as a party that hasn't lost any MPs and has a stable majority in Parliament is resorting to such a solution," added Klus, according to TASR.

Source: TASR

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