After two unsuccessful attempts to launch a session at which the opposition has sought to dismiss Prime Minister Robert Fico from his post, a new session was slated for July 7, starting at 9:00.
Fico himself was not present in the parliament as he currently is in Strasbourg.
The official reason was that there was no quorum to start the discussion. While at 10:00 when the session was to start originally there were 56 MPs present, at 11:00 there were 66. The quorum is set to 76 deputies, the TASR newswire reported.
Altogether seven MPs present were from the coalition parties. They explained that since the session was initiated by the opposition (which has altogether 69 MPs), only the number of MPs necessary to achieve the quorum will register.
“We agreed on doing it this way,” Andrej Hrnčiar of Sieť, who was among the seven coalition MPs present, told the Sme daily.
The parliament seems to return to the so-called Mečiarism, the era when Slovakia was ruled by Vladimír Mečiar of the Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS), said Igor Matovič of opposition Ordinary People and Independent Personalities (OĽaNO-NOVA) in response to the postponed session.
“The coalition applies practices not even used by Vladimír Mečiar,” added Daniel Lipšic of OĽaNO-NOVA, as quoted by Sme, adding that what the coalition does prove is their fear.
The MPs, however, should meet after 14:00 when the session to slated for a no-confidence vote against Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák will be restored.
The opposition wants to oust both Fico and Kaliňák for the alleged links to entrepreneur Ladislav Bašternák, who has been accused of major fraud. The two sessions were originally scheduled to run one immediately after the other by Speaker of Parliament Andrej Danko (Slovak National Party), who stated the need for efficiency as the reason, TASR reported.
While Kaliňák is suspected of having links with Bašternák, the opposition wanted to recall the prime minister for not dismissing Kaliňák from his post, for covering up his activities and supporting corruption. Moreover, he embarrasses Slovakia as he lives in a flat owned by Bašternák, TASR wrote.
Poll suggests Kaliňák to leave, Fico to stay
Meanwhile, 49 percent of respondents in the Polis survey said Kaliňák should leave his post due to the Bašternák case. The telephone poll was carried out between June 25 and July 1 on 1,433 respondents older than 18, the SITA newswire wrote.
Only 28.2 percent of respondents think Kaliňák should not resign, while 22.8 percent said they do not know.
When asked whether Fico should leave his post, 34.9 percent of respondents said he should do so, while 44.5 percent supported him. As many as 20.6 percent of respondents did not know how to answer the question, SITA wrote.
As for the other findings, 74.4 percent of respondents think that the police and the prosecutor’s offices are influenced by politics. Moreover, 53.5 percent believe the opposition’s claim that the investigation of the Bašternák case is impacted by the ruling power, while 24.3 percent do not believe them.
About 20.8 percent of respondents also think that the coalition partners should leave Smer due to the case, while 54.6 percent do not agree with it. As much as 53.1 percent of respondents do not support the protests in the streets, organised by the Ordinary People and Independent Personalities (OĽaNO) and Freedom and Solidarity (SaS), while 35.6 percent support them, SITA wrote.
6. Jul 2016 at 12:49 | Compiled by Spectator staff