Interior Minister Tomáš Drucker (Smer) announced he is going to resign after three weeks in the job as he “could not ease the polarization in Slovak society” and wants to keep his own integrity. He also announced he would not dismiss Police Chief Tibor Gašpar. His dismissal would not be just, Drucker explained, due to his excellent qualities and the good performance of the police in general. Drucker also said that Gašpar should resign voluntarily. PM Peter Pellegrini is surprised by Drucker’s move. From the PR point of view, this is disaster for his government and him personally. He is yet to react publicly. Gašpar’s voluntary resignation would certainly make it easier to find a new Interior Minister, said Béla Bugár, head of the ruling party Most-Híd.
While Drucker says it was his decision not to dismiss Gašpar, the opposition parties SaS and OĽaNO are having none of it and are demanding an early election. They say Smer is so afraid of an investigation into its corruption cases that it would not let Drucker fire Gašpar.
Drucker’s surprising resignation might owe something to media reports about the rather suspicious way he acquired land near Trnava. The land came from a restitution. The restituent only received the land after she agreed to sell it to Dušan Dvorecký. He paid the restituent €1.50 per sqm, but now the land is priced close to €120. Dvorecký sold some of the land for €9 to Drucker, who was drawn into politics by Ján Počiatek, an ex-minister suspected of corruption. Similar fraudulent restitution schemes were undertaken in the High Tatras during the first Robert Fico government.