Prime Minister Iveta Radičová considers Smer chairman Robert Fico's reasons for cancelling their meeting scheduled for Wednesday, October 6, to be nothing but a pretext ... “one of many we've seen (coming from Smer) recently,” she told a press conference, the TASR newswire reported.
Radičová and Fico were supposed to meet at 15:00 at the Government Office to discuss the parliamentary proposal to restrict MPs' immunity. However, the Smer chairman decided to call off the talks because Radičová had notified the media about their meeting.
“Our meeting was not secret... I saw no reason to keep it secret, and we didn't even make an agreement to keep it secret,” said Radičová, as quoted by TASR. “We agreed not to publish a potential deal we might have reached, and this I've fully respected.”
The constitutional amendment drafted by the government, designed to restrict the immunity of MPs and judges, was passed to a second reading in August, with 81 out of 144 MPs voting in favour of the proposal. The Government proposes to restrict immunity only to voting and statements made in parliament. Also, the assent of MPs to initiate a prosecution of an MP would no longer be needed. However, that assent would still be necessary in order to arrest an MP, judge or the General Prosecutor.
Fico declared at a press conference on the same day that Smer will not support any changes in constitutional laws, including curbing MPs' criminal immunity. Smer will back reducing MPs' immunity against misdemeanours, if other constitutional officials give up their right to have flashing blue lights on the top of their cars, said Fico.
The former prime minister stressed that Smer disagrees with reducing criminal immunity, as the current governing coalition has unleashed “an unprecedented criminalisation” of the opposition. When it comes to other constitutional changes proposed by the coalition, Smer will not back any of them.
“They have promised it. Let them arrange it alone,” said Fico.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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7. Oct 2010 at 10:00