Bugar: I See No Reason to Dismiss Kalinak at This Point

Bugar sees no reason to dismiss Kalinak at this point (photo by TASR)

Bratislava/Vatican, June 22 (TASR) – If no new information appears in the case concerning Interior Minister Robert Kalinak (Smer-SD), there is no reason to dismiss him via the Opposition’s repeated attempt to do so, Bela Bugar, leader of governing coalition party Most-Hid, told TASR during his working visit to the Vatican on Wednesday.

The Opposition wants to initiate a special parliamentary session with a no-confidence motion in Kalinak on the agenda. It’s trying to oust him over his alleged links to the Ladislav Basternak tax fraud case.

“They see any relationship between the minister and Ladislav Basternak as new information. However, the minister showed me documents proving that he only bought 17 percent of the firm [in question] from Basternak, but he hasn’t had money from Basternak and they even still owe him the money. This isn’t evidence,” stressed Bugar.

Bugar claims that neither the Opposition, nor the governing coalition can replace the law enforcement authorities. “We can’t say that someone is guilty or not guilty. Nevertheless, there is absolute distrust in the system, so what we can do is to restore trust in it. For example, we can make the police inspection independent of the police leadership, or increase the transparency of the judiciary and prosecution sectors,” said Bugar.

Parliamentary Chair Andrej Danko (Slovak National Party/SNS), who is paying a visit to the Vatican along with Bugar, said in this connection that no unlawfulness in Kalinak’s actions has been confirmed. “We just can’t accuse, dismiss and punish people based on emotions, press conferences or someone’s feelings,” he said. However, he insists that the entrepreneur’s case should be properly examined by the law enforcement authorities. “I’m not interested in any Basternak … and I’m publicly saying it for the second time now that he’ll sweat if he’s done anything wrong. I’m neither interested in, nor willing to cover for a person like this,” stressed Danko.

Kalinak is set to face another no-confidence motion in Parliament over his alleged links to businessman Ladislav Basternak, who is suspected of tax fraud. The Opposition has collected enough signatures to convene a special session. It wants to deliver them on Friday (June 24) afternoon. Parliamentary Chair Danko will then have seven days to convene the session.

Meanwhile, the Opposition Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) party and OLaNO-NOVA have announced that further protests will take place in front of the Bonaparte residential complex in Bratislava where Prime Minister Robert Fico (Smer-SD) has been renting a flat from Basternak. The protests should take place every Monday for the next six months, said OLaNO-NOVA chairman Igor Matovic at a news conference in the parliamentary building, adding that he doesn’t think that the idea of holding protests will fade out.