Danko: Matovic Single-handedly Stymied Session, May Be Disciplined

Parliamentary Vice-chair Bela Bugar, Parliamentary Chairman Andrej Danko, and Parliamentary Vice-chairs Martin Glvac and Andrej Hrnciar (left to right)

Bratislava, February 14 (TASR) – OLaNO-NOVA party leader Igor Matovic single-handedly stymied an extraordinary parliamentary session debating a no-confidence motion in Prime Minister and Smer-SD chairman Robert Fico, and this may come with a fine, Parliamentary Chairman and Slovak National Party (SNS) leader Andrej Danko told a press conference on Tuesday.

The session was interrupted barely after it had begun, as Matovic – when making his case for Fico’s ouster on the Opposition’s behalf – touted papers containing photographs. This, to Danko’s mind, did not comply with Parliament’s Rules of Procedure. Before long, Danko interrupted the session and called a parliamentary gremium, whereupon he announced that the no-confidence motion in Fico will be resumed on Thursday.

“We’re all MPs, having received mandates from the people. We should be respectful to each other. Laws that are in effect need to be observed. We may not like all laws, but we realise that we must fulfil our duties,” said Danko.

Matovic has demonstrated that he’s the only MP not to observe laws, said Danko, adding that Matovic tends to his own parochial interests in an attempt to disrespect the House. Danko gave assurances that he honours the Opposition’s rights and aims to carry on with the session post-haste, with this Thursday being the earliest possible day.

Parliamentary Vice-chairman and Most-Hid party leader Bela Bugar endorsed Danko’s decision to interrupt the session. “I would have done it myself. Some people aren’t able to work as required and aim to stir up arguments instead. The Opposition needs to straighten out its own ranks or sort Matovic out. If Matovic’s spite and the negative energy surrounding him could be used towards lighting, Parliament’s lights would be on for free all year round,” said Bugar.

Another parliamentary vice-chairman, Martin Glvac (Smer), weighed in by saying that Parliament’s Rules of Procedure have been made stricter partly in reaction to Matovic’s actions in the past. “Rather than working for the people, it’s more convenient for him [Matovic] to put on circus shows,” said Glvac.

Danko first asked Matovic to take the visual images away. Matovic declined to do so, alleging that the photographs in question form part of an official addendum to the motion to oust Fico. “I realise that you thought you’d ban this by the Rules of Procedure, but the rules make it possible for each MP to attach any visual images to the official motion to dismiss the prime minister,” said Matovic.

Danko was unimpressed, however, concluding that Matovic had indeed violated the Rules of Procedure. After failing to heed repeated requests to comply with the rules and refusing to leave the chamber, Matovic was officially deemed not to have attended the session at all and will face additional disciplinary proceedings.