Danko: Potential Loss of MP Mandate Is Sensitive Thing

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Interference with an MP’s rights or the potential loss of an MP mandate is a sensitive thing, Parliamentary Chairman Andrej Danko (Slovak National Party) said on Tuesday in reaction to the Constitutional Court’s verdict confirming a fine equalling six monthly salaries for OLaNO-NOVA leader Igor Matovic for not having his business licence suspended for 21 days while as an MP in 2013.

Matovic might even be stripped of his MP mandate due to repeatedly violating the law.

“The parliamentary chairman’s position must be principal, regardless of what MP it concerns. I don’t succumb to emotions. A thorough analysis of the situation now has to come, i.e. judging the violation of duties, since there are opinions it should only apply to one term in office. I will check all relevant positions, make a decision with a calm mind and initiate appropriate proceedings based on it,” said Danko.

Danko stressed that politicians should not succumb to emotions of political contention in dealing with such a difficult issue. “It’s not us, but citizens who give a mandate to an MP. However, each MP must comply with obligations set to them by law. Life has taught me not to dance on my enemy’s grave. I don’t want to bring emotions into this and I don’t want to prejudge the decision, either,” added Danko.

Matovic has not yet obtained the court’s ruling and therefore, he does not plan to pay the fine for now. “I would be interested in the court’s ruling, since I explained well the difference between a formal business and actually doing business in my motion,” said Matovic. He does not have any big illusions about how the MPs’ vote on his mandate will turn out. “I suppose they will not resist the temptation,” said Matovic in connection with his expectations concerning the parliamentary committee’s vote on the fate of his MP mandate.

The Constitutional Court upheld the fine amounting to six monthly salaries that had been levied on Matovic last June by the parliamentary committee on the incompatibility of posts. Matovic was refusing to pay the fine of €12,000 and asked the court to examine the committee’s decision. He assumed he had not violated constitutional law because he was not actively doing business during those weeks, even though his business licence was no longer suspended.

Matovic had his business licence resumed again some time ago, thus getting on the agenda of the parliamentary committee again. He might be deprived of his MP mandate due to repeatedly violating the conflict of interests law.

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