Bratislava, November 15 (TASR) – If Police Corps president Tibor Gaspar wants to make the police more trustworthy, the National Crime Agency (NAKA) should set up a branch in the village of Lomnicka (Presov region) in order to question all voters who cast their votes in the March general election, stated OLaNO-NOVA party leader Igor Matovic on Tuesday.
A report by public broadcaster RTVS claimed that Smer-SD MPs Stanislav Kubanek and Peter Chudik, who also serves as Presov region governor, were involved in vote buying among the Roma in Lomnicka.
Matovic and former OLaNO-NOVA MP and former government proxy for the Roma communities Peter Pollak were to provide testimonies to NAKA earlier on Tuesday. “When asked by the investigator whether I knew any further witnesses, I told them that there are 395 [equalling the number of preferential votes for Kubanek in Lomnicka – ed. note] and that they’re concentrated in the Roma neighbourhood. They’re unemployed and have plenty of time to provide testimonies. NAKA should set up a branch in Lomnicka in order to investigate the case. They can approach the local council office to ask for the list of voters who actually voted,” said Matovic, adding that if Gaspar does this, he’ll be able to appear before the public to say that he’s really done everything possible to see that this election fraud is investigated.
[Voters can mark the names of up to four candidates on a party slate, thereby allowing certain candidates to leapfrog others on the list. – ed. note]
At the same time Matovic noted that when Chudik became Presov region governor in 2001, he was elected by a margin of only 242 votes. “This is only half of what he received in Lomnicka and Rakusy [also Presov region]. He might have remembered well then that every vote counts, and so he wanted to hedge himself in this way,” said Matovic.
The OLaNO-NOVA leader went on to criticise Gaspar for stating that an investigation has concluded that no election fraud took place in Lomnicka and Rakusy. “I’m asking Gaspar: why have the police questioned only five out of 395 offenders? Why isn’t Gaspar acting in a standard manner, i.e. coming to the village to attempt to find as many witnesses as possible? Why did the police only approach people from the RTVS report?’ asked Matovic.
Gaspar on Monday stated that the police have properly investigated the case under the supervision of a special prosecutor, coming to the conclusion that no election corruption was involved in the two villages “as was announced and as we dealt with it”.
According to Gaspar, 13 witnesses have been interrogated by the police in the case, with five Roma who earlier claimed that their votes were bought for one packet of cigarettes each later changing their testimonies. They’re now being prosecuted for perjury.