Tomáš Drucker may become new interior minister

Following the president's refusal to appoint the new government, designated PM Peter Pellegrini will submit a new list of candidates on March 21.

Tomáš Drucker, once a Smer nominee, served as a health and interior minister.Tomáš Drucker, once a Smer nominee, served as a health and interior minister. (Source: TASR)

The ruling party Smer has nominated current Health Minister Tomáš Drucker to the post of new interior minister. He is expected to be replaced by the current state secretary at the Health Ministry, Andrea Kalavská.

The proposal follows the discussion with President Andrej Kiska, who is expected to invite both candidates and discuss with them certain issues. He should then announce the date for appointing the government, Pellegrini told the journalists, as reported by the SITA newswire.

Read also:President will not appoint Pellegrini cabinet as proposed Read more 

The designated PM did not want to comment on the president’s decision. He hopes that Kiska does not start a dangerous precedent that would result in not respecting the parliamentary majority.

Kalavská’s husband questioned

Drucker accepted the offer to become new interior minister despite his wish to stay at the Health Ministry.

“I wanted to continue in changes I started, but I made the decision to keep the standard of the constitutional and democratic country, in particular with the aim to calm down the current situation,” Drucker said, as quoted by TASR.

As for the proposed health minister, the Sme daily wrote in early January 2018 that while Kalavská was responsible for medicaments at the ministry, her husband Erich Kalavský has been working as a manager in pharmaceutical company, Pfizer.

Despite these close family ties, both the ministry and the company rejected any non-standard relations.

Read also:Pellegrini’s cabinet bets on a non-partisan interior minister Read more 

However, Sme pointed out that back in 2010 Pfizer was preferred by ex-health minister Ivan Uhliarik (the Christian Democratic Movement) in a competition to provide the vaccination against pneumococcal. Both he and his brother worked for the pharmaceutical company in the past.

“The potential conflict in interests is so huge that the post of drug politics should be filled by a person with no ties to pharmaceutical companies and at the same time an expert in the field,” said Peter Visolajský, head of the Medical Trade Unions Association (LOZ), responding to Kalavská’s post, as quoted by Sme.

No other changes planned

As for the other nominations, no changes are planned.

This means that current Košice Mayor Richard Raši was proposed to become deputy PM for investments and informatisation, while Ľubica Laššáková should be appointed new culture minister and Gábor Gál new justice minister, SITA reported.

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