Matovic and Mihal Fined for Absence in Parliament

OLaNO-NOVA leader Igor Matovic (stock photo by TASR)

Bratislava, March 9 (TASR) – Parliamentary Chairman Andrej Danko (SNS) has decided that MPs Igor Matovic (OLaNO-NOVA) and Jozef Mihal (Independent) will both be stripped of half their monthly salary and the lump sum reimbursements for other costs related to their posts due to their absence in Parliament last month, TASR learnt on Thursday.
Such a sanction hasn’t been imposed in Parliament for years.

Danko in his official statement noted that even though Matovic submitted a written apology for his absence at a parliamentary session on February 1, he didn’t consider Matovic’s reasons as serious enough.

“The date of the February session had been known well in advance to allow MPs to adjust their activities appropriately,” wrote Danko.

The parliamentary chairman also registered Matovic as absent on February 14, when the latter was actually at the session, but was expelled from the chamber by Danko for the use of photographs during his own speech – a move forbidden by the new Rules of Procedure.
Mihal, meanwhile, didn’t provide any written apology for his three-day absence in Parliament in early February. If he had been absent for four days, he would have lost his entire monthly salary and lump sum payments.

The independent MP, who recently left Freedom and Solidarity (SaS), claimed that he had a tour of lectures outside the capital in late January and early February.

“The considerable number of attendees who had registered for the lectures in advance wouldn’t have forgiven me if I had cancelled them. I am aware of my failure to provide an apology for my absence in Parliament and I’m ready to bear the consequences,” said Mihal.
Matovic, conversely, provided an apology for his absence on February 1, but he held a press conference in the parliamentary building on the same day.

“I had urgent working duties and I preferred members of the public [to the parliamentary session],” said Matovic.