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UPDATED: 17. FEB 2017, AT 13:36

UPDATED: Parliament fails to dismiss Fico

The parliamentary debate lasted nearly 12 hours.

Fico (left) and Matovič. (Source: SITA)

Only 60 of 130 MPs present supported the opposition proposal to oust PM Robert Fico due to the scandal over high energy bills.

Fico was backed by deputies of the ruling parties Smer, Most-Híd and the Slovak National Party, but also by non-affiliated MPs Peter Marček and Rastislav Holúbek, the TASR newswire reported.

The special session lasted nearly 12 hours, with 27 deputies speaking in the plenum.

Matovič talks for three hours

“Finally start doing something for the people,” opposition OĽaNO leader Igor Matovič concluded his unusually long speech in the parliament, during the special session with only one point on the programme - to oust the prime minister.

PM Robert Fico labelled Matovič’s speech “three hours of empty words”, as quoted by the Sme daily.

Read also: Read also:No-confidence vote in Fico postponed

Matovič, who is behind the motion to have Fico dismissed as prime minister, took the floor first and went on speaking for three hours. First he apologised for using a picture of a late elderly lady from the Czech Republic to illustrate his point in the parliament. He also accused Fico of cynicism and hyenism. Matovič took his time to read out loud parts of the government’s programme statement about energy poverty, as well as transcripts of televised debates and news programmes to prove that Fico ignored the increase in energy prices even when it was already clearly happening, Sme reported.

Read also: Read also:Energy prices hike tensions in coalition

“I am only here out of respect to the Constitution,” Fico, who originally stated he would not be attending the session, said in response to Matovič’s speech and added that he has no respect for those proposing the vote.

“I ask the MPs to go and devote themselves to their normal work,” Fico said to conclude his speech, as quoted by Sme, and left the plenum. Many coalition deputies followed suit.

The opposition filed a motion to have a no-confidence vote held on February 10 following the scandal with energy prices. If the parliament expresses no confidence in the prime minister, the whole government falls.

Smer made it clear from the beginning that they are sure not to vote against their prime minister. Fico can also count on the support of his coalition partners. Thus, it is highly unlikely that the opposition could actually recall Fico.

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