Slovak president appoints new PMSource: Beta
BRATISLAVA -- Slovakia’s President Ivan Gašparovič has appointed Social Democratic Party SMER leader Robert Fico as the country's new prime minister.
Fico's government will consist of social democrats and several non-party experts.
The mandate of the old government, which consisted of four center and right parties, was terminated the moment the president appointed Fico as the new PM.
The former ruling parties, led by ex-Prime Minister Iveta Radičova, have now become the opposition.
At the early parliamentary elections held on March 10 a single party won the overwhelming majority for the first time since the fall of the communist regime in 1989. Fico's SMER won 83 out of 150 seats in the Slovak parliament, enabling it to form the government without any coalition partner.
“It is true that I have some experience from the previous government in the period from 2006 until 2010. But the upcoming period is diametrically different,“ Fico, who used to be the PM,“ said after he was appointed.
The Slovak president stressed that Fico was an experienced politician and promised he would support the government to work for the Slovak citizens but that Slovakia should be a trustworthy partner in the international field as well.
Aside from the prime minister, the Slovak government has another 14 members. Along side several ministers from the previous Fico’s government, such as Interior Minister Robert Kalinak and Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajčak, the new government will have some new ministers as well.
The opposition has praised Fico’s choice of foreign and justice ministers. The new justice minister is considered to be the biggest surprise, bearing in mind that Fico appointed prominent lawyer, who is not a member of any political party, and former Slovak Bar Association head Tomaš Borec.
Immediately after the elections Fico showed friendliness toward the opposition that was not present during his first government in an attempt to dispel fears that a so-called Hungarian scenario could happen in Slovakia, namely that the ruling party could change some of the crucial laws without consulting the opposition.
The new prime minister also repeated that his government will be pro-European “because Slovakia has gotten much more from the EU than it has given and it is only fair to show solidarity when Europe is in crisis”.