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Kotleba was not elected vice-chairman of defence committee

Parliament also refused initiative to hold a moment of silence for Tiso.

Marian Kotleba and his MPs(Source: SITA)

Marian Kotleba, leader of the far-right extremist People’s Party-Our Slovakia (ĽSNS), failed to become the vice-chair of the parliamentary defence and security committee when he did not receive enough support from committee members. Kotleba received only two votes – his and that of Milan Krajniak (We Are Family-Boris Kollár) during the vote on April 18, the TASR newswire reported.

Also Martin Beluský of ĽSNS failed to become the vice-chair of the economic committee.  

“I’ve abstained,” said Jaroslav Baška, MP for Smer, as cited by TASR after voting in the defence and security committee. “The opposition legislators have not voted for Kotleba either.”

He could not say whether Smer legislators would do the same with other parliamentary committees when it comes to ĽSNS candidates.

Krajniak has reasoned his support of Kotleba by sticking to a pre-agreed deal.

“We’ve opted to stick to the agreement,” said Krajniak.

Based on the agreement of parliamentary parties after the March 5 elections, ĽSNS should not get any parliamentary committees’ seats but instead of this they would have more vice-chairs. In total ĽSNS should fill in six vice-chairs positions.  

Baška, who is also regional governor of Trenčín, recalled that Kotleba has already reneged on that deal when he suggested scrapping one of the four posts of parliamentary vice-chairs.

Caucuses of opposition parties Freedom and Solidarity (SaS), OĽaNO-NOVA and We Are Family will not nominate candidates for vacant vice-chair posts of parliamentary committees, caucus chairs Natália Blahová (SaS), Richard Vašečka (OĽaNO-NOVA) and Boris Kollár (We Are Family) announced on April 18. They were reacting to parliamentary committees’ failure to elect legislators from ĽSNS as committee vice-chairs.

They say that the opposition parties’ agreement that vice-chair posts have been reserved for ĽSNS representatives is still valid.

“The opposition agreement is only about the division of parliamentary functions and not about mutual implicit support for individual candidates,” stressed the parties. “It was and will be up to individual opposition legislators’ consideration what position on the election of ĽSNS’ nominees they take.”

No moment of silence for Tiso

Speaker of Parliament Danko did not comply with a request of Kotleba to hold a moment of silence on April 18 for all victims of judicial murders and judicial and miscarriages of justice on the occasion of the 69th anniversary of the execution of wartime Slovak state president Jozef Tiso. After opening of the session Danko said that the parliamentary body in which all parliamentary caucuses are represented will deal with this request.

Kotleba, who is a supporter of Tiso and whom President Andrej Kiska named ‘fascist’ recently, reminded that on this precise day, April 18, 69 years ago, president and priest Tiso died due to a “shameful judicial murder”.

Jozef Tiso, president of the wartime Slovak State (1939-45), does not deserve even a brief moment of silence, Ondrej Dostál, legislator from the SaS caucus and leader of the Civic Conservative Party (OKS), said on April 14.

“Such proposal must be unacceptable to any democratic politician because it is an affront to all victims of fascism and Nazism,” said Dostál. “Each and every one of them deserves far more respect that the head of the state co-responsible for their deaths.”

Dostál pointed out that if parliament had commemorated every of the around 70,000 Slovak Jews that were sent to concentration camps by Tiso to die there, legislators would have stood in silence for 146 sessions.

“Politician responsible for their deaths does not deserve a second of silence in parliament of a democratic state,” emphasised Dostál.

Most-Híd caucus deems Kotleba’s request to be a provocation.

“This proposal does not belong to politics as Jozef Tiso is a controversial politician from a tearful era,” said caucus leader Gábor Gál, adding that after the beginning of the Slovak National Uprising, Tiso agreed with the dispatch of German troops to suppress the insurgents. “It is in our interest to build a civil society and not to support ideas of an extremist group.” 

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