The parliamentary committee for conflict of interests has still not closed the case of Igor Matovič, head of the Ordinary People and Independent Personalities (OĽaNO-NOVA), who has not suspended his business licence.
Since it is not the first time he forgot to suspend it, he may lose his parliamentary mandate. The committee however wants to wait for the verdict of the Constitutional Court which is currently dealing with the first fine Matovič received in the matter, the TASR newswire reported.
The committee has recently fined Matovič with a sanction amounting to his six-month salary, i.e. some €12,000, for violating the constitutional law on conflict of interests. The MP however turned to the court to confirm it. The senate composed of Lajos Mészáros, Ľudmila Gajdošíková and Ladislav Orosz discussed the case in closed session on November 4, but postponed the talks, ordering the judge rapporteur to submit a proposal to unite the differing legal opinions, TASR wrote.
The Constitutional Court’s spokesperson Martina Ferencová has not provided any further details, so it is not clear whether the opinions differ on whether the law is violated by having a business licence though the public official is not actively doing business or if the business is still active.
Matovič claims that he has not violated the law as his business is not active, though he had not suspended his licence. Having a business licence does not automatically mean that the person actively does business, he added.
In this respect Matovič referred to the previous verdict of the Constitutional Court which claimed that the parliamentary committee should not check whether a public official actively does business or not. It should act if there is a possibility of doing business, which also includes renewed business licences, as reported by TASR.
The members of the parliamentary committee for conflict of interests agreed that the court can confirm the verdict but can also change it. If this happens, the committee would probably not be able to fine public officials for not having a business licence suspended if they did not actively carry on their business. The committee would thus have to check whether and how public functionaries do their business.
23. Nov 2016 at 22:47 | Compiled by Spectator staff