Parliament's conflict of interest committee stopped the investigation of four MPs on Tuesday, December 7, and launched investigations affecting Finance Minister Ivan Mikloš (SDKÚ) and Všeobecná Zdravotná Poisťovňa board of directors member Martin Barto, the TASR newswire reported, citing committee chair Renáta Zmajkovičová (Smer).
Mikloš and Barto were both quoted as being satisfied customers in a recent advertisement by a travel agent. Mikloš has already stated that the quote was elicited more than a year ago – when he was not a minister – and that he wasn't remunerated.
A case involving Braňo Ondruš (Smer) was dropped after committee members agreed that a presentation which he gave at parliament dressed in a reflective vest like a trade unionist was neither an advertisement for nor promotion of a legal entity.
The case of Viera Tomanová prompted more heated debate. As labour minister under the last government, Tomanová authorised two ministry contracts in which she and her then-deputy Emilia Kršíková were beneficiaries. Governing coalition MPs said this was a conflict of interest, but the abstention of the opposition Smer MPs on the committee meant that it lacked a quorum and the investigation was therefore dropped. Tomanová is now a Smer MP herself.
The committee unanimously decided to stop investigation of SaS MP Juraj Droba over an advertisement (for a vodka brand) displayed on his car. MPs accepted Droba's argument that he does not use the car himself but that it is driven by his assistant. Also, an investigation involving SNS MP Vincent Lukáč was stopped after he demonstrated that he had been paying to use a car that was destroyed in an arson attack earlier this year.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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8. Dec 2010 at 10:00