The special parliamentary session aimed at removing Speaker of Parliament, Andrej Danko, from his post will take place on May 4, starting at 9:00.
The move was initiated by the opposition which wants to dismiss Danko because of the scandal concerning the opening of letters sent by the general public to MPs. The opposition claims that the constitutional rights of citizens have been violated, the TASR newswire reported.
The discussion may not even start, however, as it is expected that MPs will not pass the programme. Prime Minister Robert Fico has already expressed his support for Danko and has said his Smer party will not support the session’s programme, TASR reported.Read more
The scandal over the opening of private letters was brought to the attention of the media by Igor Matovič, chair of the Ordinary People and Independent Personalities (OĽaNO-NOVA) movement, on April 25.
He claimed that Danko ordered the employees of the parliament’s filing office to open letters addressed to MPs if they were sent anonymously or by the public. If they found vulgar or disparaging content, they were ordered not to give the letters to the MPs but to store them for three months and then discard them, TASR reported.
He even showed the order made out for employees of the filing office, sent by the chair of the Parliament’s Office, Daniel Guspan. Guspan said in response, that neither the employees of his office nor Danko reads the letters addressed to MPs. He called the accusations lies, claiming that the measures concerning the handling of correspondence have been in place for years.
Guspan also claimed that the new rules for dealing with correspondence followed the recommendations of the Interior Ministry.
The measures related to withholding letters containing obscene language and opening the ones sent by anonymous senders and the public have been halted for now, TASR reported.
Human rights committee will not learn more about the mail
Meanwhile, the members of the parliamentary human rights committee will not receive the information from the Parliament’s Office about the mail for MPs, as was requested by the opposition. The chair of the committee, Erika Jurinova of Ordinary People and Independent Personalities (OĽaNO) requested that the committee should receive the list of received and withheld letters from the beginning of the current election term, as well as the list of receivers whose mail was held back and the number of envelopes that were not delivered to the recipients, the SITA newswire reported.
The members of the committee were also critical of the fact that Danko did not attend the session, although he was invited. His office sent only an email in which they apologised for his absence without stating the reason. He even failed to appoint one of his deputies to attend the session, Jurinová said, as reported by SITA.
2. May 2017 at 22:24 | Compiled by Spectator staff