Bratislava, February 18 (TASR) – Five independent lawmakers led by Miroslav Beblavy plan to spend the night in Parliament and thus continue blocking a suspended special House session that they perceive as unlawful, TASR learnt on Tuesday.
Beblavy also responded to the call addressed to them by Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini to “cease and desist” by sending Pellegrini back a message that he should be ashamed of himself.
According to Beblavy, the occupation of the speaker’s rostrum will continue as long as necessary. “We won’t go home. We’ll sleep in Parliament,” he declared, adding that the group of six is already equipped with sleeping mats, bags and PJs.
Furthermore, they plan to take “steps” also on Wednesday (February 19), when the session is slated to continue, but refused to detail any more information at this stage.
Earlier in the day, Pellegrini urged the coterie of lawmakers centred around Beblavy to stop blocking the session with a wedding cake. “I’m really embarrassed for the opposition and the histrionics it has displayed and plans to display in Parliament,” claimed the Prime Minister. He stated that “the cake MPs” failed to muster courage to concede in the debate that they have no wish to help people in Slovakia, which is why they opted for blocking the debate altogether.
“The Prime Minister started off well by being embarrassed. He should be embarrassed, indeed, and I hope he’ll be ashamed,” responded Beblavy.
Earlier in the day, Beblavy and company effectively shut down the session by placing a wedding cake on the podium in a sardonic celebration of the “marriage” between Smer-SD, SNS and far-right LSNS. In this fashion, they were attempting to prevent the passing of doubled family allowances, the introduction of 13th pension, the scrapping of motorway vignettes and rejection of Istanbul Convention in a fast-tracked procedure two weeks away from the parliamentary election.
According to Pellegrini, the “opposition can’t handle the fact that the majority chose to open the special House session”. “But that’s how parliamentary democracy works. When the majority makes a decision, then that decision must be accepted. The opposition uses unacceptable weapons that are in flagrant breach of any constitutional principles and fundamental rules of democracy,” added the Prime Minister, voicing hope that the introduction of 13th pension payments and doubled family allowances will be passed on Wednesday (February 19).