On September 10, for the second time, parliament did not approve a draft resolution by the leader of the Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS), Vladimír Mečiar, which would have called on the police to examine an opposition proposal to sack Justice Minister Štefan Harabin (a HZDS nominee).
Speaker of Parliament Pavol Paška returned to the vote on Wednesday in order to be able to close the extraordinary twenty-sixth parliamentary session, at which the opposition failed in its attempt to oust Harabin. According to the Speaker of Parliament, deputies had to vote on the draft resolution as Mečiar did not withdraw it on September 9, instead only announcing that he and his deputies would not vote on it again after Tuesday's unsuccessful vote.
Twenty-one of eighty-one lawmakers present voted in favour of the draft. Fourteen were against it, forty-four abstained and two did not vote. In addition to the HZDS, opposition deputies from the SDKÚ and SMK parties did not register to vote, even though they were present in parliament. Deputies for the KDH voted against the proposal; only Július Brocka did not vote. A majority of MPs for the ruling Smer party abstained, with only Boris Zala voting against the draft. MPs from the other governing coalition party, the SNS, supported Mečiar's draft resolution, with only one exception, who did not vote.
The proposal had a troubled history. The first vote on it, held right after the extraordinary session debate ended, failed when the coalition lacked one vote. At that time, all coalition parties supported the vote. When the deputies returned to vote on Tuesday, a dispute arose in the coalition. A majority of Smer and SNS MPs did not register before the vote, and parliament was this inquorate. This angered Mečiar, who labelled his coalition partners unreliable. According to him, it was a tasteless joke, but his party would remain in the coalition in spite of it. SITA
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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10. Sep 2008 at 19:00