The conference, originally slated for September 24, was delayed until later in October. However, not even at that time, will members discuss the key programme document authored by Smer MP Ľuboš Blaha and former speaker of parliament Pavol Paška. The document speaks about division into “elite” and “lower classes”, as well as about “social democracy with a human face” – clearly alluding to the political trends of late politician Alexander Dubček, the Sme daily wrote.
The document was leaked in Slovak media last week; but now, it will be replaced by a totally different one. In it, Smer leadership plans to put together specific goals to work on in the upcoming months.
MEP Boris Zala had information about the points included in the original document. He criticised them publicly and defined them as one of the reasons why he suspended his Smer membership.
Smer MP Ján Podmanický told Sme that there is an inner debate going on in the party, and that he would not talk about the contents of the document before an official output is finished. “I am sure that this document will be specific, credible and realistic,” he added.
Several other members of the Smer inner leadership circle had reservations concerning the document, too – as well as several MPs and district party chairmen. The gravest complaints concerned too general phrases and stress on the ideological line of the party, which does not need to be defined after 17 years of the party’s presence on the political scene. Some party members see the poor quality of the original programme document as one of the reasons behind Smer’s programme congress.
MEPs openly critical
The biggest critics of the document are Smer MPs Zala and Monika Flašíková-Beňová who deem it to be of completely poor quality, She adds she had sent her comments on the document but does not know how the party will handle them. Flašíková-Beňová also plans to speak at the congress.
“This is not a programme document of the kind Smer used to have,” Zala pointed out for Sme. “It is rather a propaganda pamphlet which cites social democracy, but in its contents, has in fact nothing to do with it.”