Lucia Žitňanská leaves Most-Híd party and its parliamentary caucus

She cites no progress in the investigation of Kuciak’s murder or in solving the other problems bedevilling Slovakia as the reason.

Lucia Žitňanská Lucia Žitňanská (Source: TASR)

MP and former justice minister Lucia Žitňanská (2016-18) is leaving the minor ruling party Most-Híd.

“I already announced before the summer break that I will not vie for any elected office nor run in the next general election,” Žitňanská posted on Facebook. “Today, however, I’m also losing any reason to maintain strictly official ties with the current governing coalition, and, therefore, I have decided to leave the Most- Híd caucus and, hence, the Most- Híd party.”

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Žitňanská writes that half a year into the government of Peter Pellegrini, none of the problems bedevilling Slovakia - the investigation of journalist Ján Kuciak’s murder, the trustworthiness of the police and the Interior Ministry, the independence of the police internal affairs team or the need to address land-related scandals - have seen progress tangible enough to assuage the concerns harboured either by the public or herself.

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Read also: What is Lucia Žitňanská’s legacy? Read more 

On the contrary, she perceives only an effort to maintain the status quo and downplay the problems.

“I’m talking about the tenures of [former Police Corps President] Tibor Gašpar and [former NAKA head] Robert Krajmer at the Interior Ministry, evasive and misleading statements by the Interior Ministry’s leadership on the investigation into the kidnapping of a Vietnamese manager, verbal attacks against the media and noteworthy deviation from the unequivocal pro-European and pro-Atlantic orientation, represented particularly by one specific coalition partner,” she wrote.

Most-Híd wrote in its response that co-operation inside any coalition is challenging and has its own set of written and unwritten rules.

“In the latest period, views of the party, the caucus and Ms. Žitňanská began to diverge,” reads the Most-Híd’s press release. “Therefore, we see her decision as a natural evolution of this state. We respect her choice and thank her for her prior cooperation.

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Žitňanská joined Most-Híd in 2014, jumping ship from imploding SDKÚ. She served as Justice Minister three times. After her departure from the Most-Híd caucus, the party will be whittled down to just 13 MPs in Parliament.

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