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Smer thwarted opposition’s bid for extraordinary parliamentary session

An extraordinary parliamentary session to debate the scandal involving state-run company MH Development will not take place, as the ruling Smer party with a majority in parliament, rejected its programme November 5.

An extraordinary parliamentary session to debate the scandal involving state-run company MH Development will not take place, as the ruling Smer party with a majority in parliament, rejected its programme November 5.

The opposition’s initiative to summon the session was signed by 31 lawmakers and submitted by independent MP Miroslav Beblavý. The session was supposed to force Smer into allowing a proper and independent investigation into the state of affairs at the state-owned company and to dismiss its supervisory board for failing to keep proper tabs on the work of the company’s director Ladislav Košecký for two years. Beblavý called for the Supreme Audit Office (NKÚ) to carry out checks in the company. He thinks, according to the TASR newswire, that this would prevent the rest of the firm’s financial resources from going astray.

The opposition demanded that members of the advisory board should be dismissed from other posts at the Economy Ministry. Moreover, it also wants employees who are accused of cronyism at MH Development to be fired.

Economy Minister Pavol Pavlis sacked Košecký, the CEO of the ministry-owned company MH Development, because he leased a vehicle, a Toyota Land Cruiser, from his own firm Mertimex, TASR reported. Pavlis recalled Košecký after receiving a letter of complaint from Beblavý.
Speaker of Parliament Pavol Paška told TASR that he had sent a letter to NKÚ, calling on the office to make a thorough audit in MH Development. “I turned with a letter to the chair of NKÚ, so that he organises an audit within the schedule of checks and within his competences,” Paška said, explaining why he deemed the extraordinary session unnecessary.

The session ended soon after started, as only 46 of those present passed it, and 62 were against and three abstained from the vote, SITA wrote.

Paška said that the money belonging to MH Development which Košecký used to pay the three fines he received for not having filed the property return on time will as for now not be returned by the parliament to the account of the state-owned company. “It is up to the criminal bodies to decide…” Paška said.

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