The man who symbolises Slovakia's problematic political transformation in the 1990s wants to make another political comeback.
Former prime minister Vladimír Mečiar announced he wants to start a new political party. Under his watch in the 1990s, the biggest scandals in the post-1989 history of Slovakia happened, including the abduction of the former president's son and the murder of Róbert Remiáš. His authoritarian-leaning government led Slovakia away from the path to the EU and NATO, prompting Madeleine Albright to call the country the black hole of Europe.
Mečiar bid his farewell to Slovaks in 1998, when he was ousted through a joint effort of the then centre-right opposition. His now-obsolete Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS) was, however, part of a coalition with Smer and SNS between 2006-2010. Since then, he has been in retirement.
On August 2, however, he dropped a bomb when he said in an interview with the Plus Jeden Deň tabloid daily that he was starting a new political party. He said the party is ready, with experts and a programme, and it will change its name within a week and will be presented to the Slovak public.
"There is no party that would be able to say Slovakia first," Mečiar said in the interview when asked about his reasons for a new party.Related articleRead more
Side by side with Harabin?
Mečiar did not explicitly say he would lead the new party and admitted it might be someone else. He said he does not rule out cooperation with failed presidential candidate Štefan Harabin.
"When the right time comes, we will stand side by side," Mečiar said.
Harabin, however, did not show much enthusiasm for the Mečiar project.
"It should be a completely new party, not burdened with politicians," Harabin, who served as justice minister under Mečiar, said about his potential political ambitions, as quoted by the Sme daily.
Mečiar might still face prosecution
Observers do not expect Mečiar's potential party to appeal to voters enough to have a significant say on the political scene.
Moreover, Mečiar might still face prosecution over the amnesties that he granted as prime minister in 1998, even though the police investigator recently decided no crime has been committed. General Prosecutor Jaromír Čižnár subsequently announced that his office will inspect the decision, Sme reported.
7. Aug 2019 at 22:17 | Compiled by Spectator staff