UPDATED: 9. OCT 2019, AT 19:57

SaS maths: 21 renegades out, 23 new members in

Chairman Richard Sulik says the conflict in the party is over.

The members of the Democratic Code platform.The members of the Democratic Code platform. (Source: TASR)

Opposition Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) no longer has the discontented members among its ranks.

Related articleSaS divisions send poor signal about wider opposition, warn experts Read more 

A total of 21 members have quit the party, as they announced on October 9. These are people who have been grouped in the Democratic Core platform, which they created a few weeks ago, when the party re-elected Richard Sulik its chairman.

“After all we have been through, I am glad these people are gone now,” Sulík said, as quoted by the TASR newswire. He added these ex-members had harmed SaS and go on to damage the party's image.

On the afternoon of October 9, SaS announced 23 new members will join the party, including Bratislava Self-governing Region (BSK) chair Juraj Droba, who is also running on the SaS slate as proposed by the chairman and recently passed by the congress. He is not intending to take up the MP chair if successful, however.

Sulík also claimed the new members had been previously blocked by people grouped around Ľubomír Galko.

Democratic Core leaves

“The party has changed,” the Democratic Core platform wrote on Facebook when they announced they were leaving. “It has lost its moral compass, and we could not stop it.”

The platform has been critical of SaS chair Richard Sulík and his actions for some time already.

Ľubomír Galko, Jozef Rajtár, Miroslav Ivan, Renáta Kaščáková, Radoslav Pavelka, and Pavol Kubiš are among the renegades. The platform has hinted that others may follow.

Sulík's family friend quits

Related articleSaS approves slate without renegades Read more 

Another SaS member, Jana Kiššová, left on October 8.

“Today's SaS is no longer the party that I, full of ideals, joined 10 years ago,” Kiššová wrote on Facebook. “For me, there is an unbearable atmosphere in which I no longer want to choke.”

She was the only Democratic Core member to be offered a place on the SaS slate ahead of the 2020 general election. Sulík was willing to wait for her decision to run.

However, she insisted that Galko, Rajtár, and Natália Blahová must appear on the slate as well. Blahová was expelled from the party by the delegates at the party's congress on October 5.

“Kiššová has been my family friend for 17 years, so I'm very sorry that it turned out like this,” Sulík said, as quoted by the Sme daily.

The SaS chair added that the Democratic Core has refused to tackle party disputes.

Nevertheless, he announced the October 9 press conference was the end of the conflict.

SaS caucus' new head

The third place on the party's slate that Sulík originally reserved for Kiššová will be filled by the party expert on education, Branislav Gröhling.

“No reformist government will be established without Freedom and Solidarity,” SaS member Martin Klus said, as quoted by TASR. He has been voted a new chair of the party's caucus to replace Blahová.

The party will focus on the election campaign from now on, Sulík said.

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