Bratislava, Slovakia – Earlier today, Slovak daily Dennik N published the application of Maroš Šefčovič, current EU Commissioner and Slovak presidential hopeful, to join the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia.
Written in May 1989, the application form was filled when Maroš Šefčovič was still studying at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations MGIMO.
“I want to join the Communist Party (KSČ) to take an active part to the construction and elimination of some of the shortcomings of our socialist society”, Šefčovič wrote in the application, unearthed from the Prague archives. He was admitted to the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia the following month, in June 1989, shortly before the Velvet Revolution and the fall of the Soviet Union.
Šefčovič’s membership to the Communist Party isn’t news in and of itself. According to local reports, he had previously claimed he never received his membership card, and repeated throughout the campaign that joining the Communist Party was a prerequisite to entering the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and becoming a diplomat – which he eventually did.
But the release of his application comes at an unfortunate time and might further hurt his (slim) chances of becoming Slovakia’s next president, as electors head to the polls on Saturday for the run-off. Once seen as the front-runner of the race, Šefčovič, a career diplomat backed by the ruling Smer party who spent most of his career in Brussels, only received 18.7% of the votes in the first round, trailing far behind Zuzana Čaputová (40.5%), a liberal anti-corruption and environmental lawyer.
To keep a fighting chance, Šefčovič has been trying – with mixed results, regardless of his past membership to the Communist Party – to fish for the votes of far-right, conservative and nationalist candidates Stefan Harabin (14.4%) and Marian Kotleba (10.4%), who came respectively third and fourth in the first round.