CURRENT Education Minister and Smer party vice-chairman Peter Pellegrini is to take over as the speaker of parliament and the party’s MP Miroslav Číž will become deputy speaker of parliament, Prime Minister and Smer leader Robert Fico announced after a session of Smer’s presidium on November 24, the TASR newswire reported.
Pellegrini will take over a post left vacant by Pavol Paška, who announced his resignation on November 16. Paška’s departure 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.
Parliament should hold a secret vote on Pellegrini’s nomination afternoon of the following day. Fico added that Pellegrini will submit his resignation as minister to President Andrej Kiska on the same day’s morning and that he will be replaced by incumbent Education Ministry State Secretary Juraj Draxler.
“Peter Pellegrini is a member of a generation of politicians who have a longer political future than my generation,” Fico said, as quoted by TASR. “It’s only natural to let into positions politicians who may prove to be the right choices.”
Pellegrini has been at the helm of the Education Ministry only since early July after replacing Dušan Čaplovič. He was previously the Finance Ministry state secretary.
Smer’s presidium also decided that Číž will be nominated to take over after parliamentary vice-chair Renáta Zmajkovičová, who also stepped down in the wake of the scandal concerning the purchase of an overpriced CT scanner by Piešťany Hospital.
The opposition parties are hopeful that the incoming parliament speaker will head the parliament in a less “arrogant” fashion than his predecessor, according to TASR.
“I expect the fresh blood to bring something new to parliament: more refined ways of dealing with the opposition,” said head of the Christian Democratic Movement (KDH) caucus Pavol Abrhan, as quoted by TASR, before admitting that Pellegrini’s nomination to the post had caught him somewhat by surprise.
Head of the Ordinary People and Independent Personalities (OĽaNO) Igor Matovič said that he barely knows Pellegrini, so it is hard for him to judge whether he will make a good parliamentary chairman.
“He looks like a normal fellow, though,” Matovič said, as quoted by TASR. “So I hope he will set different standards from Paška’s. He doesn’t come across as that arrogant.”
Compiled by Roman Cuprik from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
25. Nov 2014 at 10:00