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Smer unlikely to clear reestablishment of SaS caucus

The ruling Smer party will not allow, with all probability, the liberals of Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) party to re-establish their parliamentary caucus, despite the fact that they now have the required eight lawmakers, Smer caucus chair Jana Laššáková told the TASR newswire on January 27. In April 2013, many members left the SaS, including a group of MPs, and this caused the end of the party caucus – which needs to have at least eight MPs to exist.

The ruling Smer party will not allow, with all probability, the liberals of Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) party to re-establish their parliamentary caucus, despite the fact that they now have the required eight lawmakers, Smer caucus chair Jana Laššáková told the TASR newswire on January 27.

In April 2013, many members left the SaS, including a group of MPs, and this caused the end of the party caucus – which needs to have at least eight MPs to exist.

It is now up to the parliament to decide whether or not SaS will be allowed to revive its caucus. SaS has support from the opposition parties, yet the parliament is controlled by Smer.

“An opinion prevails in Smer caucus that we shouldn't allow the creation of SaS party caucus,” said Laššáková, adding that caucuses are formed based on election results and SaS has failed to maintain its caucus in the wake of departures of its several former MPs.

If parliament cleared the creation of the SaS caucus by virtue of former Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ) MP Eugen Jurzyca joining SaS, a dangerous precedent for the future would be set, she said. The Smer caucus chair added that election results should be maintained and not changed by lawmakers crossing the floor during election terms.

Apart from ex-SDKÚ Jurzyca, also former SaS renegade, Juraj Droba (who then joined NOVA) wants to return, which would enable the reviving of SaS caucus. A caucus is made based on election results, while members are grouping due to party or coalition affiliation; and if coalition splits or parties change, also the caucuses duly change, according to the parliamentary order of procedure. If MPs want to associate in a caucus in a different way, parliament has to approve this.

Otto Brixi of Smer told TASR that if MPs fulfilled all the required conditions and want to associate, he sees no reason to prevent them from doing so. A caucus is of advantage, as the party gets money from state for its operation, it receives offices in parliament and head of caucus participates in parliamentary panel sessions.

(Source: TASR)
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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