Not even the new leader of the smallest coalition party Sieť has managed to avert an impending split. Five critical MPs left the party, claiming that Transport Minister Roman Brecely will bring no change to the leadership.
The renegades have subsequently joined forces with their coalition party Most-Híd, pointing to the programme proximity of the parties and the need for stability. Several media now speculate that current developments will impact the redistribution of power within the ruling coalition, though the politicians are silent about the possible consequences, referring to the need for the coalition council to summon a meeting.
The date for the meeting of the council where the coalition will discuss what consequences the departure of Sieť deputies will have on the coalition and its agreement has not been set yet.
Some political analysts, however, were clear about the future of Sieť on the political scene.
“Nobody can help the party, not even Brecely,” Grigorij Mesežnikov, president of the Institute for Public Affairs think tank, told The Slovak Spectator.
Congress brought surprises
Before the congress several media outlets speculated whether previous chair and former presidential candidate Radoslav Procházka would try to run for the leading post. He, however, announced in the beginning of the meeting that he would remain only a rank-and-file member.
“For objective and subjective reasons I do not feel the moral right to lead the party,” Procházka said, as quoted by TASR.
Among the main reasons was the weak election result, but also the gradual departure of several people who made it to the parliament.
He was referring to Miroslav Beblavý, Katarína Macháčková and Simona Petrík who quit the party shortly after it joined the ruling coalition; but also to Andrej Hrnčiar, Martin Fedor, Eduard Adamčík, Katarína Cséfalvayová, and Igor Janckulík. They expressed distrust in Procházka after he had dismissed Hrnčiar and Fedor from their leading posts in mid-June, pointing to disrespect of the statutes of Sieť.
“The leader is a person joined by the others, not left by them,” Procházka added, as quoted by TASR.
Not even the two Sieť members who had announced their candidacy before the congress, Eduard Adamčík and Tomáš Stoklasa, eventually ran for the post. While the former left the meeting after the delegates had refused to discuss the re-installment of Hrnčiar and Fedor to their previous posts, the latter surrendered after Brecely was nominated.
“It was not a pre-arranged plan, I did not have the ambition to become the party’s chair,” said Brecely, as quoted by TASR, after he was supported by 86 of 125 delegates present at the congress.
Brecely was suggested by Jozef Hodoši from eastern Slovakia, who met him only for the second time. However, he explained that the party is in a bad state and needs a good crisis manager, which Brecely is, he explained to the Sme daily.
Procházka responded to the nomination by using vulgarisms, which was also captured by a microphone which broadcast the congress live for a private news channel TA3. He later apologised for his behaviour, the Denník N daily wrote.
The change in the leading posts however has not prevented Hrnčiar, Fedor, Adamčík, Cséfalvayová, and Janckulík from leaving the party. Brecely met with them on August 15, but without any result.
“We have not received any guarantees for eliminating the reasons for which we founded the For Responsible Politics platform,” reads the official statement sent to media on August 16.
The MPs think nothing will change in Sieť.
What problems will the new leader have to deal with? What is Procházka's future?
16. Aug 2016 at 15:01 | Radka Minarechová