Speaker of Parliament Pavol Paška (Smer) followed through with his promise and removed the camera near the entrance to the parliament chamber on May 23, Paška's spokesman, Pavel Chovanec, informed the media as reported by the TASR newswire.
Paška said on TV Markíza's 'Na Telo' political talk show on Sunday that the camera, which had been installed by his predecessor Richard Sulík from Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) party to monitor the place where MPs sign an attendance sheet, would be removed, calling it demeaning to MPs.
Sulík responded that some MPs cheat by signing the attendance sheet for absent colleagues – and that is what is demeaning. The former speaker of parliament insisted that the camera has an important purpose.
"As long as we (taxpayers) pay them, it's important that they vote and don't slack off," Sulík stated, as quoted by the TASR newswire, adding that his decision to install the camera was a response to certain practices by some MPs. TASR wrote that he was alluding to a scandal in 2008 when the caucus chairman of the Slovak National Party, Rafael Rafaj, allegedly forged the signature of the SNS’ chairman, Ján Slota, several times.
Opposition MPs apparently do not share an unanimous opinion concerning removal of the camera, the Sme daily wrote on May 24, noting that Igor Matovič from the Ordinary People and Independent Personalities (OĽaNO) party also deemed the camera important, while KDH’s Pavol Hrušovský considered it insulting and Ľudovít Kaník from the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ) thought it was the voters’ responsibility as expressed by their selection of MPs.
Source: TASR, Sme
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
24. May 2012 at 10:00