Danko: Kiska’s Veto of New Rules of Procedure Is Punishment

Parliamentary Chairman Andrej Danko (stock photo by TASR)

(TA3, V politike, November 13)

President Andrej Kiska’s decision to veto the amendment to Parliament’s Rules of Procedure is his way of punishing Parliament for its repeated calls on him to appoint candidates for constitutional judges, said Parliamentary Chairman Andrej Danko (the Slovak National Party) on TA3’s discussion show ‘V politike’ (In Politics) on Sunday.

Danko claims that when he read Kiska’s reasoning, he saw politics behind it. “If Mr. President has begun doing politics and if he eventually gets to what the birds are singing about – that is, becoming a leader of his own party, then this mechanism has already been activated,” thinks Danko.

He also said that he won’t back down regarding the constitutional judges and he will ask Kiska again to appoint some from among the proposed candidates next week.

Danko reiterated that the Rules of Procedure amendment has created a huge social discussion bordering on political hysteria. “There was a fight about to go down in Parliament and we’re obliged to do something about it. We have to keep pointing to such things,” he emphasised.

The parliamentary culture should be improved via a Code of Ethics for legislators as well. “As soon as on Monday [November 14] or Tuesday [November 15], I will appeal to the Opposition parties to come up with their suggestions. The code will contain things that aren’t appropriate to be put in the Rules of Procedure, such as legislators’ attire,” explained Danko.

At the same time, Danko said that he isn’t a divisive person. “I have goose bumps when people are connecting. Managing the state isn’t fun,” he said, adding that the last time he had goose bumps was during his visit to Armenia, because Opposition legislators were also part of the delegation. “Coming together in strategic matters, joining for something good; that’s the only matter that will help us survive together,” he noted.

Danko is convinced that MPs should behave extraordinarily. “They receive above-standard salaries and for that people should see corresponding activities. Arguments are degrading us to being a lower-level establishment. However, the majority of legislators honour their posts. Parliament has its credibility but there’s a lot to improve,” he stated.

When asked about whether or not he could imagine cooperating with the Opposition Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) party, Danko said that he feels comfortable in his current position and coalition. “In 2020, what happens with KDH or LSNS will be important. These are pointless discussions right now,” said Danko.

Danko refused to say that he’s on the knife’s edge with Smer-SD. “We have a lot of arguments but we always know to shake our hands afterwards and not to be hysteric about it,” he concluded.