Two branches of the senior coalition party Smer in Košice have lost members as all of them suspended their membership in early October. The information was confirmed by one of the loudest critics of the party’s leadership, former MEP and Smer’s regional deputy chair in Košice Monika Smolková, for the Korzár regional daily.
She was joined by 15 other party officials in the Košice III and Košice IV boroughs. However, the exodus may eventually concern a total of 210 members within the two branches.
As Smolková explained, the party has accumulated dirt in the last 20 years and it now must be cleared off.
“We do not deserve to be called thieves in the  campaign,” Smolková told Korzár. “We did not rob anyone, and we did not misbehave.”
The renegades said that those who have gotten up to no good should, instead, leave the party, including Smer head Robert Fico.
“He gave birth to this child, Smer, and as a proper father, he should understand he would be of help if he retreated,” Smolková said, as quoted by Korzár.
A desire to return to Smer
Although the renegades have left, they are still hoping to join the party again as soon as their demands are accomplished by Smer.
“We are not going to join any other political party, but we have no interest and strength to campaign for the party unless it sweeps out all the thieves and corrupt people,” Smolková also said, as quoted by Korzár.
After the May European Parliament elections, the former MEP was one of those who delivered a call to the party’s board, the first of its kind since the party’s establishment in 1999, demanding the resignation of Fico and ex-interior minister Robert Kaliňák.
Following the call, Fico toured several regions, including Košice, to discuss local and regional problems with party members, which he had not done in three years, Smolková added.
She went on to criticise Fico for how he had handled those meetings, citing a lack of open dialogue. She also condemned Fico for declaring his support for far-right ex-MP Milan Mazurek, found guilty of extremism on September 3.
Disappointment in Pellegrini