MPs used the new rules of procedure submitted by Speaker of Parliament Andrej Danko for the first time, on the day they were put into practice. The members of the far-right People’s Party – Our Slovakia (ĽSNS) of Marian Kotleba had to leave the assembly hall for promoting their party with badges, the TASR newswire reported.
Under the new rules, the use of any visual aids or subjects that promote political parties and movements is no longer allowed. Many ĽSNS deputies wear the green badges with the logo when going to the assembly hall.
Non-affiliated MP Miroslav Beblavý reported the infringement to Deputy Speaker of Parliament Lucia Ďuriš Nicholsonová of Freedom and Solidarity (SaS), who led the session. She subsequently asked them to hide the badges which they refused to do.
“This regulation is a proposal of Mr Danko,” Beblavý said, as quoted by the Denník N daily. “I neither proposed nor supported it, but I think it is necessary to use all legal means against fascists, while the promotion of the fascist party in parliament offends me and I think also all decent people in this country.”
As ĽSNS MPs refused to hide their badges, the session was interrupted for a while. After consulting with other members of the parliament’s leadership, Ďuriš Nicholsonová expelled the ĽSNS legislators from the parliamentary chamber. They refused to leave, however.
As a result, she considered them absent for the proceedings. If the situation continues, the speaker of parliament may call for a reduction in their salaries, Denník N wrote.
“I’m glad that we have provisions like this,” said Danko, responding to the incident, as quoted by TASR. “I’ve dreamt of being able to influence politicians’ behaviour one day and being able to change some things. I prepared the new rules of procedure to my best knowledge and beliefs, and I assume it will be interesting to watch MEPs’ appearances in the Slovak parliament as well. I’ve sent letters to Slovak MEPs so that they can harmonise the dates of their appearances in the Slovak parliament.”
1. Feb 2017 at 6:31 | Compiled by Spectator staff