Opposition proposals blocked at first after-summer parliament session

At its first session after the summer break, the ruling Smer party on September 9 scrapped from the agenda of the parliament 10 opposition draft bills, as it deemed them part of the campaign before the November municipal elections.

At its first session after the summer break, the ruling Smer party on September 9 scrapped from the agenda of the parliament 10 opposition draft bills, as it deemed them part of the campaign before the November municipal elections.

Speaker of Parliament Pavol Paška opened the 37th parliamentary session that will debate six constitutional amendments, many bills – and the proposal to recall a Dušan Čimo, a member of the Judicial Council.

Head of the Smer caucus, Jana Laššáková, insisted that the 10 opposition proposals be postponed until after the November 15 municipal election, the Sme daily wrote. Opposition MPs slammed her step, pointing to the violation of MPs’ constitutional right to propose bills.

Chair of the opposition Most-Híd party Béla Bugár claimed he had never experienced anything like that in the 24 years that he has spent in parliament. Also Ľudovít Kaník of the opposition Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ) called it, as quoted by the TASR newswire, unprecedented and immediately requested summoning an MPs’ panel. Leader of the Christian-Democratic Movement, Ján Figeľ, opined that it was a violation of parliamentary rules of order.

Laššáková also scrapped the proposal, according to the SITA newswire, that would reduce the quorum necessary for the referendum to be valid from current 50 percent of votes to 20 percent.

The parliament will not debate the draft bill, either, that would ban MPs from simultaneously serving as mayors, or stipulating that public officials can be paid for just one position. These laws could have potentially been effective already for the November 15 election, Sme summed up.

(Source: Sme, TASR, SITA)
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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