SaS Expects Madaric’s Stance on Amnesties to Influence Smer-SD MPs

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Bratislava, March 3 (TASR) – The Opposition Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) party expects the current stance of Culture Minister and Smer-SD vice-chairman Marek Madaric on scrapping the amnesties issued by former prime minister Vladimir Meciar to inspire some other social democrats to support the move in Parliament, said SaS leader Richard Sulik on Friday.

“It would be extremely beneficial for justice in Slovakia if the Smer-SD vice-chairman doesn’t remain alone with this opinion in his party,” said the SaS leader. SaS praised Madaric’s position, as well as the fact that he presented it publicly. Madaric surprised several Smer-SD MPs by this, and they haven’t ruled out asking him for an explanation.

Nevertheless, statements made by some Smer-SD lawmakers are far from indicating that Madaric’s position will make them change their minds. Chairman of the Smer-SD caucus Martin Glvac hasn’t noticed a change of mood about this issue within the party. The social democrats have been claiming for a long time that Meciar’s amnesties are amoral, but that they can’t be scrapped legally.

Following Wednesday’s premiere of political thriller ‘Unos’ (Kidnapping), which deals with the kidnapping of former president Michal Kovac’s son [in 1995] and the related murder [in 1996] of Robert Remias, who served as a link to a key witness in the case, Madaric said he would vote for revoking Meciar’s amnesties if he were an MP. According to the Opposition, the amnesties prevent those responsible for the kidnapping and Remias’s murder from being criminally prosecuted.

The Opposition has attempted several times to see the amnesties abrogated, but a constitutional majority (90 MPs) to back such a move has never been assembled in Parliament. Although the governing Most-Hid party supports the move, its votes still aren’t enough. The Slovak National Party (SNS) questions the feasibility of legal abolition, while the governing coalition hopes that the Constitutional Court might resolve the issue. Dozens of Slovak personalities, renowned lawyers and judges have called for the amnesties to be revoked, claiming that this can be done in a lawful manner.

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