BRATISLAVA, Slovakia (AP) — Former Slovak Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini announced Wednesday a plan to leave his leftist party to establish a new center-left political organization.
Pellegrini has been deputy chairman of the Smer-Social Democracy party, which had dominated Slovakia’s politics since 2006 before being ousted from power by a center-right party in the February parliamentary election.
His move was expected. He has clashed with the party chairman, former Premier Robert Fico, over the scandal-tainted party’s future following the disappointing loss in the election.
The result sent Smer to the opposition while a new four-party coalition government took over.
Pellegrini became the prime minister after Fico’s coalition government was forced to resign by the massive anti-government street protests in 2018 following the slayings of an investigative reporter and his fiancee. Investigators linked Jan Kuciak’s death to his work probing possible widespread government corruption.