Danko: I’ve Got No Respect for President Zuzana Caputova

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OLaNO leader Igor Matovic approaching Parliamentary Chair Andrej Danko (SNS) while holding up a paper reading "he's drunk" at the House session on January 21, 2020. (Photo: Facebook, Igor Matovic)

Bratislava, January 21 (TASR) – Sparks flew in the parliamentary chamber on Tuesday when Parliamentary Chair Andrej Danko (Slovak National Party) declared that he has no respect for President Zuzana Caputova after a verbal shootout with Independent MP Martin Poliacik (Progressive Slovakia).

The verbal sniping began after Parliament voted to reject a motion tabled by Independent MP Veronika Remisova. When Poliacik took objection to this, Danko urged him not to shout at him. “You can go and shout at the Presidential Palace”, he said. [Danko recently critised the president for her decision to summon Prosecutor-General Jaroslav Ciznar and Police Corps President Milan Lucansky and have them explain to her why former prosecutor-general Dobroslav Trnka has been released from custody, a move that led to Danko accusing Caputova of overstepping her powers. Caputova’s political career also began in Progressive Slovakia, the party Poliacik now belongs to – ed. note]

“I will respect the Presidential Palace only when it becomes independent, apolitical and doesn’t serve dopeheads like you,” shouted Danko at Poliacik. [Poliacik is in favour of decriminalising marijuana – ed. note].

Following this exchange, OLaNO leader Igor Matovic approached Danko holding up a piece of paper with the words “he’s drunk” and with an arrow that he pointed at the chairman.
“What you wrote there was incredibly rude,” fumed Danko, who told Matovic to return to his seat and be silent, claiming that the OLaNO leader was “radiating nothing but malice”. “I’m happy that the end of the electoral term is drawing near and I won’t have to see that lunatic again,” said Danko about Matovic.

Poliacik stated that Danko’s remarks about President Caputova were inappropriate and urged him to apologise, a call that was joined by Matovic. They described Danko’s statement as unworthy of the second most senior constitutional official, and MP Ondrej Dostal (SaS) even lodged a complaint with the House mandate committee. “Although secretly I hope that once Mr. Danko sobers up, he’ll apologise even without being urged to do so by the mandate committee,” the MP added.

Later in the day, Danko adjusted his statement by saying that he respects the president’s office but regrets its lack of impartiality. He told journalists that President Caputova should apologise to him and not the other way around, claiming that the president treated him in a disrespectful manner even before she assumed her post. “The president as a human being should apologise to me for her Facebook posts. As for her office, I have respect for the president’s office. I’ll always apologise to the president’s office,” he said.

Caputova, meanwhile, sees no reason whatsoever to comment on the statements.