Poll: Scrapping Mečiar amnesties would be supported by 63 percent

The much disputed step, scrapping the so-called Mečiar’s amnesties which stopped prosecution of a series of crimes in 1990s involving then political elite and also the Slovak Intelligence Service, would be welcomed by majority of Slovaks.

Vladimír Mečiar Vladimír Mečiar (Source: SME)

A poll conducted by the Focus agency between February 6 and 18 on 1,512 respondents aged over 18 found that 63 percent of citizens approve of scrapping the amnesties with a constitutional law, the SITA newswire wrote on March 1. The respondents were asked whether they are for or against the parliament adopting a constitutional law on removing Mečiar’s amnesties and the crimes connected with the abduction of the son of then-president Michal Kováč still to be investigated.

Read also:Mečiar amnesties condemned, but still effective

In March 2017, the Slovak parliament is to discuss the abolishment, and the marred referendum from May 1997. Of those polled, 32 percent are definitely for abolishment, while 31 percent are leaning towards it. One fifth (20 percent) are of the opposite opinion, with 12 percent of respondents being slightly against it and 8 percent definitely against it. A total of 17 percent could not decide.

Statistics in different categories

As for age groups, about two thirds of all asked, aged 35 and above, support the adoption of the constitutional law on abolishing the so-called Mečiar amnesties. In the category 25 – 34 years of age, 60 percent approve of it and in the youngest category, 18 – 24, about one half (53 percent) support the law being scrapped. However, almost one third (31 percent) of this group were not able to give an opinion on this issue.

The support for scrapping the amnesties grows proportionally with the level of education: of respondents with primary education, the support is at 55 percent, while 26 percent had no opinion on this, the support was at three quarters – i.e. 76 percent – among college graduates.

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As for party preferences among those currently in parliament, the abolishment has the greatest support among voters of the opposition parties SaS (77 percent) and OĽaNO-Nova (75 percent). Also most voters of other parliamentary parties were also for abolishing the amnesties, with another opposition party, Sme rodina – Boris Kollár giving 65 percent, followed by the coalition Most-Híd (63 percent), extreme right Kotleba – ĽSNS (62 percent), coalition partner SNS (60 percent) and the ruling Smer (59 percent). Also voters of the extra-parliamentary movement KDH show great support for scrapping the amnesties with 73 percent. The percentage rate of opponents in favour exceeded 26 percent of those polled in none of the parties scrutinised, SITA summed up.

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