Lubomir Galko is No Longer Defense Minister
BRATISLAVA, November 23, (WEBNOVINY) — Based on the request from Prime Minister Iveta Radicova, President Ivan Gasparovic has withdrawn the authorization of Lubomir Galko (SaS) to serve as Defense Minister in Slovakia’s caretaker Cabinet. Both Galko and Gasparovic signed the respective documents on Wednesday at the presidential palace, after which former Minister Galko left without answering questions from waiting reporters.
It is not know yet who will replace the minister. Prime Minister Radicova and President Gasparovic announced they will deal with the issue on Friday. Until then, the department will be led by State Secretary Robert Ondrejcsak, while Galko would remain in office until a successor is appointed to whom he would hand over the agenda.
Radicova asked Gasparovic to remove Galko from office due to the case of wiretapping Pravda daily journalists and TA3 news channel director Michal Gucik, who should, according to the information brought by the media, have been wiretapped by the Military Counterintelligence Service. The prime minister is convinced that the defense minister is also responsible for performance of secret services belonging to his department. She agreed with the president that the military counterintelligence exceeded its powers and in case they had any suspicion on illegal activities of the journalists, investigating these should have been left to competent law enforcement authorities.
Galko was elected to parliament on the SaS list in 2010 and is thus eligible for his parliamentary mandate. According to SaS spokeswoman Tatiana Tothova, there is no reason why Galko would not assume his mandate; in such case, his substitute MP Jaroslav Suja will lose his mandate.