After Maroš Šefčovič lost the presidential election, it quickly became apparent that he and his team were breathing a sigh of relief. Among other things, it meant that his two-month break from his duties as a European Commissioner was over. He promptly boarded a plane to Brussels and disappeared over the horizon.
Most Smer politicians are rather less fortunate when it comes to escaping the malodorous cloud that attaches to their party. Outgoing Finance Minister Peter Kažimír has been the latest to bid farewell. With his escape ladder securely attached to the top office at the National Bank of Slovakia, he is now at liberty to criticise the stance of the party that propelled him to that post, and has started directing some well-meaning (for now) criticism towards Smer.
When Smer published an official but implausible statement saying that it had emerged stronger from the presidential election (despite having conclusively lost it), Kažimír was quick to contradict this message. He made it quite clear that the party could not appropriate the 750,000-plus votes that Maroš Šefčovič had garnered in the run-off round of the vote.
How could Smer be any stronger after an election in which it could not openly call Šefčovič its candidate in order not to scare voters away, Kažimír asked.
Fico too wanted out