Prime Minister Robert Fico called on the opposition on Thursday, February 21, to withdraw the legal complaint against President Ivan Gašparovič over his refusal to appoint general prosecutor-elect Jozef Čentéš.
Fico was at a press conference speaking in reaction to the leaked testimonies of former MPs Igor Sidor of Most-Híd and Andrej Ďurkovský of the Christian-Democratic Movement (KDH), who allegedly told the prosecutor that they had been forced to vote according to certain instructions. According to Fico, the publishing of these testimonies points to the absolute moral failure of rightist politicians and, by implication, Čentéš himself.
"The Constitution defines the free mandate of an MP and declares that MPs aren't obliged by any orders and instructions. The basic democratic principles were trampled on in the parliamentary proceedings," said Fico as quoted by the TASR newswire, describing opposition MPs as hypocrites who warn about a comeback of Mečiarism and even communist practices when Smer gets involved in "any possible issue of this kind". Fico recommended the opposition to "end this pathetic comedy" and "feel ashamed somewhere in the corner", as nothing else can be done at the moment.
The opposition said, in reaction to Fico’s press conference the same day, that the Prime Minister was attacking opposition members in order to divert the public's attention from the rapidly growing unemployment rate. "Instead of attacking the opposition, Fico should rather think of people and their needs," said Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ) chairman Pavol Frešo, adding that Fico is once again looking for excuses why not to appoint the legally elected candidate Čentéš. The KDH has pointed to the ruling made by the Constitutional Court that Čentéš was elected in line with the Constitution on June 17, 2011. "Casting doubt on the justifiability of Čentéš's election means casting doubts on the Constitutional Court itself," said KDH spokesman Matej Kováč.
Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) MP Martin Poliačik pointed to another factor of the leaked testimonies of Sidor and Ďurkovský, who allegedly told the prosecutor that they had been forced to vote according to certain instructions. "The leaking of testimonies from the General Prosecutor’s Office is politically purpose-driven and based on when it suits Premier Fico and his politicking," Poliačik told TASR, adding that he has not seen any proof of corruption, blackmail or enforcement in connection with the vote.
Poliačik added that opposition politicians still think the president has intentionally violated the Constitution, and thus the lawsuit is justified.
Fico also explained, as quoted by the Sme daily, the difference between providing “normal instruction of caucuses on how to vote”, which his party colleagues have also been taped doing, and instructions on how to depreciate a ballot are that the second one is not normal, and thus immoral.
(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.
22. Feb 2013 at 11:00