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March 18, 2018 7:33 pm | FILED UNDER: europe

Slovak Deputy PM Pellegrini Pledges Not To Polarise Society

By ČTK

Bratislava, March 18 (CTK) – Possible next Slovak PM Peter Pellegrini does not want ministers polarising society extremely in his government as President Andrej Kiska indirectly called on him, and he would like his cabinet to be appointed next week, Pellegrini said in a TV debate today.

 

On Saturday, Kiska called for a government that would not polarise society after the resignation of PM Robert Fico (Smer-Social Democracy) and he said he was prepared to fully use his powers in this respect

 

Under the Slovak constitution, it is up to the head of state whom he appoints as prime minister.

 

Current deputy PM Pellegrini (Smer-SD) said on Markiza TV that he would like the parliament to start debating confidence in a new government next week.

 

Fico resigned on Thursday amid a political crisis caused by the murder of journalist Jan Kuciak and his fiancee in late February. His resignation means the fall of the whole three-party coalition government of his Smer-SD, the Slovak National Party (SNS) and Most Hid. The coalition agreed to form a new cabinet that would be headed by Pellegrini.

 

Kiska entrusted Pellegrini with forming a new cabinet. However, Pellegrini will only become the prime minister after the president appoints him.

 

“I will be glad if I am able to bring the names that will not polarize society extremely to the president. It is also in my interest to preset such a government reshuffle that will not further divide society. All nominations will be from political parties,” Pellegrini said.

 

He added that neither a high Smer-SD official nor a newcomer should replace outgoing Interior Minister and Smer-SD deputy chairman Robert Kalinak.

 

Both opposition and a part of the government coalition demanded Kalinak’s resignation during the political crisis. He announced his resignation under the pressure, but according to available sources, he had not submitted it to Kiska yet.

 

Culture Minister Marek Madaric (Smer-SD) resigned earlier in reaction on the journalist’s murder.

 

Pellegrini said he would like Kiska to appoint a new government next week, on Tuesday at the latest, to enable the parliament to start dealing with confidence in it a day later.

 

Dozens of thousands of Slovaks demonstrated for early elections in the streets of Bratislava and other towns on Friday.

 

The opposition as well as the Most-Hid originally demanded early elections as well, but the smallest government party changed its mind and agreed on the formation of a new cabinet based on the current coalition eventually.

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