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HZDS seems unwilling to support Smer in narrowing Slovak MPs’ immunity

A proposal of the ruling Smer party to curb immunity of members of parliament has not yet gained support of one of the party's partners in the ruling coalition, the Movement for Democratic Slovakia (HZDS), the SITA newswire wrote.

A proposal of the ruling Smer party to curb immunity of members of parliament has not yet gained support of one of the party's partners in the ruling coalition, the Movement for Democratic Slovakia (HZDS), the SITA newswire wrote.

HZDS’s press department said that immunity is protection of parliamentarianism as a system. “Who weakens it, enfeebles parliamentarianism,” reads the HZDS statement.

At least 90 MPs in the 150-seat parliament must vote for a change to the current parliamentary immunity scheme, SITA wrote. According to the constitution, Slovak deputies can be neither criminally prosecuted nor taken into custody without the previous consent of parliament.

Smer deputy Renata Zmajkovičová has tailored an amendment that removes the need of parliament's consent to open criminal prosecution of a deputy or to take him/her into custody. The parliamentary session that starts on
December 1 will decide on the fate of Zmajkovičová's legal initiative.

According to her amendment if a deputy is caught breaking the law during a parliamentary session or on the way to it, the police can detain the MP and is obliged to report it to the speaker of parliament. If the parliamentary mandate and immunity committee does not subsequently consent to the detention, the deputy has to be released immediately. During custody, a deputy does not lose his/her mandate; it is just not performed. The degree of support for the proposal is uncertain. SITA

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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