President Andrej Kiska is not satisfied with the nomination of Denisa Saková to the post of interior minister.
“I said it to the prime minister and I say it out loud: as a president I have no power to refuse to appoint an individual government member, but I consider the nomination of the year-long state secretary from [Robert] Kaliňák’s era a wasted opportunity,” the president wrote on his Facebook page.
After many, unexplained suspicions of links of mafia groups to the top politicians, he considers it unacceptable to ignore the demands of people for reforms in the Interior Ministry and the police, including fundamental and convincing personnel changes.
“The governmental majority still hasn’t understood what really happened in Slovakia after the murder of Ján Kuciak and Martina Kušnírová,” Kiska added. “It hasn’t understood that even the very poor trust of people in the interest and ability of our state to secure protection and justice has completely fallen to pieces. It doesn’t want to understand that we all need to restore this trust, regardless of political classification.”
With the nomination, the government failed to send a convincing signal that it is serious about restoring the trust, Kiska continued.
He will reportedly appoint her on April 26.
President asked about IT scandals
Saková met with Kiska on April 24, after PM Peter Pellegrini informed him about the nomination. Their meeting lasted about 45 minutes, the Sme daily reported.
When leaving the Presidential Palace, Saková told the journalists that the president asked her about the IT scandals because she was signed under several dubious agreements and businesses. This includes the contracts with the Regional Procurement Agency in the case of Horné Plachtince, when winning companies interfered with the selection.
She was also responsible for the order mentioned by prosecutor of the Special Prosecutor’s office Vasiľ Špirko. According to him, Kaliňák and former transport minister Ján Počiatek received some commissions from it, Sme reported.
Saková said she explained several scandals to Kiska and he listened to her explanation.
“I’ve been working for the ministry for 10 years, I have big experiences to lead the department,” Saková said, as quoted by Sme. “I challenge you to assess me for my steps.”
Béla Bugár, chair of the coalition party Most-Híd, also said that every minister should be evaluated based on his or her results.
“Everybody needs to be given opportunity and she needs to prove that she can do it, that she has experiences,” Bugár said, as quoted by the TASR newswire. “She will have to withstand various attacks and pressures. I’m convinced she would be able to bear these challenges.”
However, the opposition is critical of the nomination. Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) considers it a cynical sneer of Smer’s chair Robert Fico and PM Pellegrini to people dissatisfied with the current state of public affairs, as reported by TASR.
The party considers the nominee to be Kaliňák’s follower.
The Ordinary People and Independent Personalities (OĽaNO) considers the nomination bad news for applying justice in Slovakia, claiming she is the right-hand woman of Kaliňák.
Smer is unable to offer a trustworthy candidate, said party’s MP Veronika Remišová, as reported by TASR.
Activists talk about mockery
Saková represents no change for the Interior Ministry, according to the representatives of the For a Decent Slovakia initiative.
“Her nomination is a mockery towards tens of thousands of people across Slovakia who were asking for a decent and fair Slovakia,” they wrote in a statement. “Her nomination is a cynical step towards the families of Kuciak and Kušnírová, who together with us are calling for a thorough and transparent investigation into the double murder and all the cases Ján Kuciak was writing about.”
The representatives of For a Decent Slovakia, and also the Nie Je Nám To Jedno (We Do Care) are ready to “invite” the new minister after her appointment in front of the Interior Ministry and remind her of all the corruption scandals of Smer and the government that she played a part in. None of these have been investigated yet, as reported by the SITA newswire.
24. Apr 2018 at 23:18 | Compiled by Spectator staff