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Pellegrini and Paška cause changes in Smer caucus

PETER Pellegrini became the new Speaker of Parliament on November 25, receiving 120 MP votes out of 136 present lawmakers. His transfer from the post of education minister to that of parliamentary chairman and the complete departure of the former holder of the parliament speaker post Pavol Paška from the parliament has resulted in changes in the Smer caucus, the TASR newswire reported.

PETER Pellegrini became the new Speaker of Parliament on November 25, receiving 120 MP votes out of 136 present lawmakers. His transfer from the post of education minister to that of parliamentary chairman and the complete departure of the former holder of the parliament speaker post Pavol Paška from the parliament has resulted in changes in the Smer caucus, the TASR newswire reported.

Paška’s resignation 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.

Paška’s MP’s seat has been taken by Ján Babič, who was originally a substitute in parliament for former education minister Dušan Čaplovič. Čaplovič returned to the parliament after resigning from his ministerial post in July. Pellegrini’s arrival in parliament from government has sidelined his substitute Peter Gaži, according to TASR.

Meanwhile Miroslav Číž of Smer became the parliamentary vice-chair on November 25, garnering 99 MP votes out of present 136 lawmakers. Číž is due to replace the post vacated by Renáta Zmajkovičová’s resignation.

Zmajkovičová also stepped down in the wake of the CT scanner scandal as she also used to chair the Piešťany Hospital supervisory board.

The parliament has filled all senior posts now, with Pellegrini in the role of the chairman and Číž, Jana Laššáková of Smer, Jan Figeľ of Christian and Democratic Movement (KDH) and Erika Jurinová of Ordinary People and Independent Personalities party (OĽaNO) serving as vice-chairs.

Source: TASR

Compiled by Roman Cuprik from press reports
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