The special congress of the opposition Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) movement did not change the leading post. Richard Sulík will remain the chairman as he had no rival in the vote, the Sme daily reported.
However, there were several top representatives of the party, including MPs, who were missing at the congress in Zvolen (Banská Bystrica Region) on September 7. They complained about how Sulík summoned the congress, and decided to found a new platform within the party, called the Democratic Core of SaS.
Several members from the regions were also absent. Since there were 144 of 213 invited guests, the congress had a quorum, Sme wrote.
Summoning of the congress questioned
“Today’s congress confirmed that we’re united,” Sulík said after the vote, as quoted by Sme, despite the absence of one-third of its members. He does not consider it an obstacle, referring to the fact that there were two-thirds of the members at the last congress.
Sulík does not plan to recall the functionaries that did not come to the congress, and stressed that he is tolerant towards different opinions.
“The special congress was summoned at odds with democratic principles,” said SaS deputy chair Jana Kiššová, when responding to the election result.
As she explained, Sulík had a proper mandate until 2020, which is why they cannot accept him for another four years at the congress. She and the other critics state that his term as SaS chair expires after the 2020 parliamentary election.
“It’s absurd for a properly elected chair to unexpectedly resign from a post for a single reason: that he wants to be elected for another four years before the election term ends,” Kiššová added, as quoted by Sme.
A new platform founded
The critics, including several co-founders of SaS and some of its most distinguished faces, established a new platform within the party, called the Democratic Core of SaS. They announced its creation at a press conference on September 7 in Bratislava, the same day as the congress.
It is an absolute standard in the west to have various opinions in parties, thanks to which they are strong and long-lasting, said SaS MP Jozef Rajtár, as quoted by the SITA newswire.
“We cannot have single-use parties or one-man parties,” Rajtár said, as quoted by SITA.
Apart from Kiššová and Rajtár, MPs Natália Blahová, Ľubomír Galko, Vladimír Sloboda, and Radoslav Pavelka, as well as members from the regional branches, claimed allegiance to the platform.
The platform’s aim is to prevent dissatisfied members from leaving the party. At the same time, neither do they plan to leave the party.
The critics expect the next congress to be in June 2020, Sme wrote.
Sulík welcomed the creation of the new party and hopes that it will open a discussion, SITA reported.
9. Sep 2019 at 13:18 | Compiled by Spectator staff