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NEW COMMITTEE TO DECIDE ON FATE OF OTHERS

3 MPs replaced due to conflict of interests

Since conflict of interests law came into effect on November 1, three Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS) parliamentarians have left the legislature and three new members were sworn in on the first day of the November session. Ivan Lexa, head of the Slovak Intelligence Service, was replaced by Andrej Fedor; Vojtech Tkáč, state secretary of the Ministry of Social Affairs, was replaced by Pavel Suchodolský in the committee for constitution and law; and Stanislav Husár, state secretary of the Ministry of Privatization, was replaced by Jana Sudeková in the committee for the economy and privatization.

Since conflict of interests law came into effect on November 1, three Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS) parliamentarians have left the legislature and three new members were sworn in on the first day of the November session.

Ivan Lexa, head of the Slovak Intelligence Service, was replaced by Andrej Fedor; Vojtech Tkáč, state secretary of the Ministry of Social Affairs, was replaced by Pavel Suchodolský in the committee for constitution and law; and Stanislav Husár, state secretary of the Ministry of Privatization, was replaced by Jana Sudeková in the committee for the economy and privatization.

But mayors of towns and villages, heads of regional state administrative bodies (Tibor Cabaj of HZDS, Klement Kolník of ZRS), entrepreneurs (Karol Konárik of HZDS and Víťazoslav Moric of SNS), and chiefs of agricultural cooperatives (Pavel Delinga for HZDS, Jozef Klein for Spoločná voľba) still sit in the assembly.

For them, a new parliamentarian committee was set up to judge whether they fit the bill of conflict of interests. The parliament stuck to proportionality this time, composing the committee of eight MPs for HZDS, two each from SDĽ, KDH, DU, the Hungarian coalition, and ZRS, and one from SNS. Ján Cuper of HZDS was elected chairman of this 12th parliamentary committee.

Pavel Suchodolský, one of the newly sworn in MPs, is himself the head of the regional administration in Rožňava. But Cuper doesn't believe Suchodolský fits the definition for conflict of interests. "According to the law, any case of conflict of interests must first be reported by the committee to the whole assembly, which then passes the final decision," Cuper said. "The named MP then must decide within 30 days which position he will stick to," Cuper added.

On the session's opening day, Mikuláš Dzurinda, an MP for KDH, posed nine questions of three SNS leaders: Ján Slota, Víťazoslav Moric and Jozef Prokeš. He accused the wives of Moric and Prokeš of being involved in the privatization process by their part in management of several privatized Slovak companies.

When asked whether an MP could meet the conflict of interests definition through his wife or husband, Cuper answered, "It would be undemocratic and ridiculous. Certain group of citizens would be discriminated against just because their spouse sits in parliament."

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