House Not Quorate to Hold No-confidence Motion in Pellegrini Again

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Slovak Parliament (photo by TASR)

Bratislava, September 9 (TASR) – Opposition once again failed to convene an extraordinary session of Parliament to hold a no-confidence motion in Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini (Smer-SD) on Monday, due to a lacking quorum.

Parliamentary chair Andrej Danko (Slovak National Party/SNS) announced that deliberations on the motion will take place at a regular session, slated to begin on Tuesday (September 10), as a final item on the agenda.

Originally, the Prime Minister was supposed to face the no-confidence motion on Friday (September 6), but the House was not quorate then. Hence, the vote was re-scheduled for Monday, but postponed once again.

The opposition wishes to oust Pellegrini over the fact that he didn’t dismiss Monika Jankovska (Smer-SD) from the post of Justice Ministry state secretary, in the wake of the emergence of thousands of text messages she had exchanged with entrepreneur Marian K. The businessman faces multiple charges including the ordering of journalist Jan Kuciak’s murder.

The Government objects to the no-confidence motion as unjustified. Government Office pointed out that the proposal comes only months away from the general election and is hinged on illegally leaked information from a police file.

The opposition, however, intends to mount yet another attempt to initiate an extraordinary parliamentary session to oust Pellegrini and has managed to collect 26 signatures already, OLaNO leader Igor Matovic announced on Monday.

“We’ll collect the remaining signatures within the day and submit them,” added SaS caucus chair Natalia Blahova. According to Blahova, only a minimum of coalition lawmakers joined the roll, even though they were present in the chamber. She views such a filibuster as the trampling of the opposition’s democratic rights.

This doesn’t sit well with Parliamentary Chair Andrej Danko (SNS), who blames opposition MPs Boris Kollar (We Are Family) and Vladimir Sloboda (SaS) personally responsible for the inquorate House, as they signed the initiation of the extraordinary session, yet failed to show up.

SaS chair Richard Sulik added that Pellegrini displayed his cowardice in failing to take action against Justice Ministry ex-state secretary Monika Jankovska (Smer-SD). Sulik believes that Pellegrini should have pushed the coalition to exert pressure on the Judicial Council to prevent Jankovska from returning to the bench as a judge. The SaS chair emphasised that Jankovska has no business being anywhere near the judiciary following scandals reported by the media.

When asked why the opposition won’t wait for the end of the regular House session, when the no-confidence vote in the Prime Minister is to be held, Matovic replied that there’s no reason to wait. Matovic views the case of Jankovska as evidence of links existing between Smer-SD and the Mafia. He added that Jankovska handed down verdicts for money as a judge, on behalf of Marian K., which is why she faces police investigation.