Premier Fico Remains in Post, Coalition MPs Support Him

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Prime Minister Robert Fico (Photo by TASR)

Bratislava, September 23 (TASR) – Prime Minister Robert Fico (Smer-SD) has survived an Opposition motion for his dismissal over his inactivity with respect to the Basternak tax fraud case, as only 36 MPs out of the 116 present in Parliament voted for his dismissal, TASR learnt on Friday.

At least 76 votes were needed in order to remove Fico from his post. All the coalition MPs present supported him, while all Opposition MPs in the chamber voted for his ouster. The entire caucus of the far-right Kotleba-People’s Party Our Slovakia (LSNS) was absent from the House.

The Opposition claimed that the prime minister’s behaviour in relation to the Basternak case is shameful and that it has put Slovakia in a bad light, especially during its current Presidency of the EU Council.

“Robert Fico by his behaviour isn’t only supporting the criminal activities of his fellow Government members, he’s also intentionally encouraging a corrupt environment, thereby excusing such behaviour at lower levels of state administration as well,” stated the Opposition in a document.

Opposition MPs also chided Fico for living in an apartment owned by Basternak. They said that Fico’s monthly rent is as much as €4,450 lower than it ought to be, which means that he’s saved €196,000 in the 44 months that he’s been living there. The Opposition called this discount a bribe.

Fico responded to the attempt to oust him by saying that it was pointless, unsubstantiated and organised by untrustworthy people who aim to create permanent political immunity for themselves.

Following its unsuccessful attempt to dismiss Fico, the Opposition will attempt to oust Interior Minister Robert Kalinak (Smer-SD) over his alleged involvement in the Basternak tax fraud scandal.