The parliamentary elections may be held before March 2020, as was originally planned, due to a recent dispute in the coalition.
PM Peter Pellegrini of Smer mentioned the possibility of early elections on March 22. A day later, Speaker of Parliament and Chair of the Slovak National Party Andrej Danko also discussed early elections.
“We’re disappointed by the fact that the prime minister prefers early elections,” SNS wrote in a statement, as quoted by the Sme daily. “If he considers it the only solution, we will support his proposal.”
The possibility of having early elections has been mentioned admist problematic negotiations over the defence agreement with the United States, which wants to invest in the reconstruction of military airports. While SNS claims that if the talks continue, it will leave the coalition, Pellegrini considers such statements theatrical gestures that are needlessly harsh. SNS responded that it does not care about his opinion, Sme reported.
Fico’s opinion important
The early election could be held at the turn of September and October, according to Sme.
Another coalition party, Most-Híd, which was also critical of SNS’s stance towards the defence agreement, said that it is necessary to discuss the possible election at the coalition council. The parties are expected to meet on March 26.
“The country is faring well; there is no reason for an early election,” said Smer chair Robert Fico, as quoted by Sme.
SNS claims that Pellegrini “became a prime minister by chance”. It stressed it will give Fico's opinion, presented during the coalition council, more consideration.
Problems with defence agreement
SNS does not want to accept the $105 million offered by the US government to reconstruct the military airport in Kuchyňa (Bratislava Region) and Sliač (Banská Bystrica Region), as part of the Defense Cooperation Agreement. The Foreign Affairs Ministry, led by Miroslav Lajčák (Smer nominee), is currently in charge of the negotiations.
Since it concerns the investment in military airports, the Defence Ministry, led by Peter Gajdoš (SNS), is expected to attend the talks as well.
“The problem is that the Foreign Affairs Ministry misleads the people and conceals facts from the planned agreement on the cooperation with the US,” SNS wrote in a statement, as quoted by Sme.
The statement was provided only a few hours after Pellegrini, Lajčák and Gajdoš met. They agreed on the common attitude towards the agreement, which is expected to be confirmed by the coalition council. They say it is still possible to communicate with Americans.
“There is nothing wrong in continuing with the negotiations [over the agreement with the USA],” Pellegrini said during a political talk show broadcast by the private news channel TA3 on March 24. “Don’t turn it into a theatre.”
25. Mar 2019 at 12:56 | Compiled by Spectator staff