Bratislava, January 31 (TASR) – MPs representing the far-right Kotleba-People’s Party Our Slovakia (LSNS) were ordered out of the parliamentary chamber on Tuesday for wearing insignia promoting their political party, TASR learnt on the same day.
Measures brought by an amendment to the Rules of Procedure were thus applied in practice for the first time.
First, Parliamentary Vice-chair Lucia Duris Nicholsonova (Freedom and Solidarity/SaS), who led the parliamentary session, called on LSNS lawmakers to remove the insignia. As they did not do so, the session was interrupted for a while. After consulting the matter with other members of Parliament’s leadership, Duris Nicholsonova expelled the LSNS legislators from the parliamentary chamber. They refused to leave, however. The parliamentary vice-chair reminded them of the fact that expulsion from the parliamentary chamber is considered to be an unexcused absence from parliamentary debates and that their salaries will be cut in the case of repeated absence.
It was MP Miroslav Beblavy (Independent) who pointed to the LSNS legislators’ insignia, suggesting that such displays contradict the current Rules of Procedure.
Parliamentary Chairman Andrej Danko (Slovak National Party/SNS) expressed satisfaction that Duris-Nicholsonova made use of the provision, which might result in a cut in the LSNS lawmakers’ salaries. “I’m glad that we have provisions like this. I’ve dreamt of being able to influence politicians’ behaviour one day and being able to change some things. I prepared the new Rules of Procedure to my best knowledge and beliefs, and I assume it will be interesting to watch MEPs’ appearances in the Slovak Parliament as well. I’ve sent letters to Slovak MEPs so that they can harmonise the dates of their appearances in the Slovak Parliament,” added Danko.