Top parliamentary officials may be dismissed

Several politicians face problems for causing chaos at the session concerning no-confidence motions against the PM and the interior minister.

Speaker of Parliament Andrej DankoSpeaker of Parliament Andrej Danko(Source: SITA)

Speaker of Parliament Andrej Danko (Slovak National Party-SNS) and two of his deputies Andrej Hrnčiar (Sieť) and Lucia Nicholsonová (Freedom and Solidarity-SaS) might face moves to dismiss them.

Some parties are considering adopting steps in order to react to perceived chaos and violations of the Rules of Procedure and the Slovak constitution during recent extraordinary sessions concerning no-confidence motions in Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák and Prime Minister Robert Fico (both Smer). The considerations also include proposals for dismissals, the TASR newswire reported.

No final decisions, however, have been made either by the governing coalition or the opposition yet. Proposals probably will not be submitted during the summer.

Read also:OĽaNO-NOVA: Danko’s signature is a fake

“The way in which Deputy Speaker of Parliament Lucia Nicholsonová proceeded was a serious political failure and violation of the principles of parliamentary democracy that unambiguously provide grounds for filing a proposal for her dismissal from her post,” Deputy Speaker of Parliament Martin Glváč (Smer) told TASR.

He referred to the fact that Nicholsonová initiated a session for a no-confidence motion in Fico without any authorisation; not via a traditional vote, but by estimating the number of MPs in the chamber. She found the attendance list to be sufficient for setting the number of lawmakers. The coalition described this as a flagrant violation of the Rules of Procedure followed by chaos. Wielding Danko’s authorisation to lead the session, Hrnčiar terminated it.

The opposition, however, sees his move as an attack on its constitutional rights. At the same time, it is questioned the authenticity of Danko’s signature on the authorisation document for Hrnčiar, TASR wrote.

Parliament’s leadership has yet to discuss a proposal for Nicholsonová’s dismissal, said Glváč. However, it will not hurry in view of her pregnancy, saying it may be discussed also after she returns.

SNS also thinks that Nicholsonová’s behaviour should not remain unpunished, but it also points to her pregnancy. Danko plans to meet her to discuss the whole situation. No date for the meeting has been set as of yet, as reported by TASR.

The opposition, meanwhile, is considering taking steps against Danko and Hrnčiar. It criticises the blocking of sessions concerning Kaliňák’s and Fico’s dismissal over the tax fraud scandal related to entrepreneur Ladislav Bašternák.

Read also:Session on recalling PM Fico postponed indefinitely

At the same time it wants the authenticity of Danko’s signature on the aforementioned document to be examined by experts, and so it has turned to the General Prosecutor’s Office. It has not submitted any proposal for Danko’s or Hrnčiar’s dismissal yet.

“We’re preparing no extraordinary parliamentary sessions during the summer,” representatives of SaS told TASR, adding that the decision stems from talks with Ordinary People and Independent Personalities (OĽaNO-NOVA).

The two parties agreed on this in order to avoid diverting attention from the core of the problem, which, according to them, is the Bašternák case.

“This is closely related to top political officials, as Fico is still living in a flat owned by a person suspected of tax fraud [Bašternák] and the interior minister [Kaliňák] directly traded with him, which puts the whole process of the investigation into the Bašternák case in doubt,” SaS MPs added. 

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