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March 19, 2018 12:00 am | FILED UNDER: europe

Few Changes In Proposed New Slovak Government

By ČTK

Bratislava, March 19 (CTK) – Most current Slovak ministers are to stay in the new cabinet now being formed by Peter Pellegrini (Smer-Social Democracy) after the resignation of PM Robert Fico as the changes in the 15-member government are to cover five posts, including that of the PM, the coalition leaders told CTK today.

 

The post of interior minister is to be held by Jozef Raz Junior, a son of the singer from the Elan rock band. Raz is now the general secretary of the Health Ministry office.

 

The post of culture minister is to be given to Lubica Lassakova, the regional head of Smer-SD in Banska Bystrica, central Slovakia.

 

The Slovak National Party (SNS) will nominate its three present outgoing ministers to the new cabinet that is to be formed in the next few days, and Most-Hid will replace one of its three ministers, the SNS and Most-Hid leaders, Andrej Danko and Bela Bugar, said today.

 

Outgoing Justice Minister Lucia Zitnanska, who decided not to continue in the new government, will be replaced by Gabor Gal (both Most-Hid). The Most-Hid transport and education ministers, Arpad Ersek and Laszlo Solymos, will keep their posts.

 

In the 15-member outgoing cabinet, the SNS has been in charge of defence (Peter Gajdos), agriculture (Gabriela Matecna) and education (Martina Lubyova). All its three ministers are unaffiliated.

 

President Andrej Kiska entrusted Pellegrini with forming a new government after Smer-SD leader Robert Fico resigned as prime minister last Thursday within a political crisis provoked by a murder of a journalist who wrote about links between ruling politicians and dubious businessmen, including Italian mafia members.

 

Due to the crisis, Marek Madaric resigned as culture minister two weeks ago and Robert Kalinak (both Smer-SD) announced his resignation as interior minister one week ago. The three government parties agreed on a cabinet reshuffle, although the smallest partner, Most-Hid, originally demanded early elections.

 

On Friday, tens of thousands of people demonstrated in Bratislava and other Slovak towns, calling for early elections. The current series of street protests have been the biggest in the country since the fall of the communist regime.

 

Pellegrini said previously each of the three government parties would stay in charge of the ministries they were currently controlling. He said he would like the new government to be appointed this week.

 

Smer-SD has nine ministers. Fico’s outgoing government has been ruling the country for two years. The leaders of the SNS and Most-Hid have not been members of the cabinet. Danko is parliament chairman and Bugar is parliament deputy chairman.

 

Fico said today he would keep the post of Směr-SD leader.

 

He also said he wanted to be still a member of the parliament at least until the confidence vote in the government to be headed by Pellegrini.

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