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Matovič is close to losing his mandate

The OĽaNO-NOVA chair has already received fines for not halting his business licence; now he may become the first MP to lose his parliamentary seat.

Igor Matovič of OĽaNO(Source: TASR)

Igor Matovič, chair of the Ordinary People and Independent Personalities (OĽaNO-NOVA), may lose his parliamentary seat if such an initiative is supported by 90 MPs.

The vote will take place following the session of the parliamentary committee for conflict of interests, that on March 28 approved the proposal to strip him of his mandate. It was supported by nine of the 15 members of the committee, while five were against, the Sme daily reported.

The opposition MP may suffer the consequences of having an active business licence in conjunction with his previous election tenure, which is prohibited by the law. He has already been fined €12,000 for the year 2013 when his business licence was active for 21 days. The fine was later confirmed by the Constitutional Court.

Shortly after the first fine, the information became available that Matovič’s business licence was restored again last September, Sme reported.

“Let Matovič defend himself at the plenary session,” said Smer MP Jozef Burian, as quoted by Sme. “He has a chance to prove whether the mistake was deliberate or unintentional.”

Read also:OLaNO leader Matovič has to pay fine and may lose MP mandate

The opposition criticised such a course of action. The chair of the committee, Martin Poliačik of Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) said Matovič has not violated the law twice during the same election tenure. Thus, he should have received only a fine, as reported by Sme.

Smer MP Róbert Puci indicated that Matovič knew about his business licence being renewed and only setting out to provoke with this case.

Matovič, however, reiterated that he did not earn a single euro as he actually did not do any business. He compared his case with that of Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák (Smer) and his dubious trade with businessman Ladislav Bašternák for which he has not been punished by the committee.

For now it is not clear when the parliament will vote on Matovič. The speaker of Parliament, Andrej Danko, may set the vote for the current session or for the April session, Sme wrote.

If Matovič loses his mandate, he will be the first MP to be punished in this way. He may still turn to the Constitutional Court and sit in parliament until it issues its ruling, according to Sme.

Meanwhile, parliament is also expected to deal with the proposal to launch proceedings against the chair of the far-right People’s Party – Our Slovakia (ĽSNS) Marian Kotleba. He only halted his business licence on February 21, 2017, i.e. one year after the parliamentary elections.

The law however stipulates that new MPs should halt their business licences within 30 days of receiving a mandate.

Kotleba is threatened with a €12,000 fine, Sme reported.

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