The coalition parties Smer and Most-Híd backed up the chair of their partner, the Slovak National Party (SNS), and did not vote to dismiss Andrej Danko from the post of the speaker of parliament.
Danko is facing suspicions that he copied his doctoral dissertation from five books, without mentioning a source. This was why the opposition tried to recall him for the second time this month, the Sme daily reported.
During the first attempt in early November, the coalition did not even support the opening of the session. Then the coalition MPs supported the summoning of the special session on November 21, but during the discussion and secret ballot, most of them were missing from the assembly hall. Danko’s dismissal was supported by only 61 of 88 valid ballots, while 26 were against and one MP abstained from the vote. To recall him, at least 76 votes were necessary, Sme wrote.
Most coalition MPs absent
Though chair of Most-Híd, Béla Bugár, said earlier that Danko should “make a personal decision” concerning the plagiarism suspicions, his party issued a statement on November 21 that they would not attend the voting.
“Most-Híd MPs observe the coalition agreement,” reads the statement, as quoted by Sme. “We don’t think that the functional government and the stability of Slovakia should depend on the functions of individuals and/or their personal failures.”
Also, the majority of Smer MPs was missing at the assembly hall during the discussion. According to the SITA newswire reports, many deputies from central and eastern Slovakia received a text that they did not even have to come to Bratislava.
Even those Smer MPs who eventually attended the voting most probably did not support Danko’s dismissal, since the party considers him a legitimately elected speaker of parliament, as reported by Sme.
Danko talked about compilations
When defending his doctoral dissertation in the parliament, Danko said that it was not plagiarised.
“The doctoral dissertation doesn’t have the parameters of a scientific work,” he said, as quoted by Sme. “It only secures the academic degree and can also be compiled.”
He also rejected the claim that he had copied the text from five books without citing the original source. However, he failed to explain how it is possible that the same text was submitted by Daniel Pisák one year later, or that the work does not contain any list of used sources.
Moreover, Danko’s spokesperson Tomáš Kostelník showed journalists several papers, claiming that these were the notes Danko took during his exam, as well as the pages with cited sources that were mentioned as footnotes. However, he did not show the whole dissertation, Sme wrote.
The Denník N daily, which first pointed to the problems with the doctoral dissertation, later disproved several claims Danko made during his speech.For example, they discovered that the compilations were not allowed even in 2000 when Danko defended his work at the Matej Bel University in Banská Bystrica.
Attacks on the opposition and the president
Danko also attacked Richard Sulík's thesis, claiming that it also did not have a list of used literature and contained vulgarisms, and President Andrej Kiska's thesis, saying he could not find it anywhere.
Sulík later brought his thesis to parliament, showing it to journalists. The last page contained the used sources, Sme wrote.
Meanwhile, Kiska’s spokesperson Roman Krpelan wrote on Facebook how Danko can find the president’s thesis. He added that it has never been concealed from the public.
21. Nov 2018 at 22:25 | Compiled by Spectator staff