Bratislava, March 25 (CTK) – New Slovak Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini (Smer-Social Democracy) believes that his government will pass a confidence vote in parliament next week, he said in a debate on the public RTVS television today.
He also said the previous government of Smer-SD chairman Robert Fico had been reshuffled and dismissed that a mere cosmetic change in the form of replacing the PM had been made.
President Andrej Kiska appointed a new government headed by Pellegrini and comprised of the current coalition parties, the Smer-Social Democracy, Slovak National Party (SNS) and Most-Hid, on Thursday.
The coalition agreed to form a new cabinet after Fico resigned as prime minister last week amid a political crisis caused by the journalist’s murder. Most ministers from Fico’s team continue in the new cabinet.
Pellegrini said he believed that his cabinet would win confidence in parliament though it had actually copied the policy statement of the previous government from 2016.
It was Pellegrini who presented the policy statement of Fico’s government, in which he occupied the post of deputy PM, in parliament in the spring of 2016 as Fico was hospitalised over a heart surgery then.
Pellegrini also dismissed that he would be a puppet in the hands of Fico. “You will be able to assess me after several weeks or months in office only,” he said.
Kiska did not agree with the first draft government lineup as he minded Jozef Raz Junior, a son of the lead singer of the Elan rock band, being nominated for a new interior minister to replace Robert Kalinak (Smer-SD deputy head). Kiska probably responded to the Slovak media information about friendly relations between Raz Jr and Kalinak.
Kiska nodded to the other government lineup in which previous health minister Tomas Drucker had been proposed for interior minister.
Drucker attended today’s discussion on TA3 TV. He was asked whether his predecessor Kalinak was not exerting pressure on him to keep Police President Tibor Gaspar in the post.
Drucker admitted that he had discussed Gaspar, among other issues, with Kalinak and that he had got calls for Gaspar’s dismissal as well. However, he said he would like to get acquainted with Gaspar’s work in detail first.