Opposition Slams Decree Allowing COVID-positive MPs to Appear in House

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Journalists in Parliament watching the extraordinary session on a constitutional bill allowing the Government to extend the state of emergency. (Photo by TASR)

Bratislava, December 28 (TASR) – The opposition Smer-SD will consider filing criminal complaints for spreading a dangerous contagious disease against those MPs who attended the parliamentary session on Monday despite having tested positive for coronavirus, said Smer vice-chairman Lubos Blaha at a press conference on the same day.

Smer is also planning to approach the Prosecutor-General’s Office and the Constitutional Court over the matter.

Even COVID-positive MPs were allowed to come to Parliament on Monday after the Public Health Authority’s head Jan Mikas on Sunday released an exemption from mandatory self-isolation to several groups of state officials.

Blaha noted that all MPs were required to present negative results of tests for coronavirus upon entering the chamber after the countrywide testing last month.

According to Blaha, Mikas “doesn’t protect the public health and people’s lives, but Igor Matovic’s Government” by facilitating COVID-positive governing-coalition MPs to come to the House and pass a law permitting the Government to repeatedly extend the state of emergency, which is due to expire after December 29. Blaha believes that Mikas’s move represents a misuse of power.

Commenting on the constitutional law in question, Blaha called it a “display of pure fascism”.
“It’s something unheard of in the rule of law and parliamentary democracy to make it possible for the government to extend the state of emergency forever,” said Blaha. He added that the state of emergency is in place to allow the Government to ban public protests and bypass public tenders.

Pellegrini: Mikas should resign

Former prime minister Peter Pellegrini (now chairman of extra-parliamentary party Voice-SD) called on Public Health Authority head Jan Mikas to “consider his resignation” over the decree.

“Jan Mikas has stepped over the line between expertise and politics. He should consider resigning from his post, which must be purely an expert one,” said Pellegrini.

LSNS: Mikas’s decree is a display of arrogance and mockery of the public

The opposition People’s Party Our Slovakia (LSNS) views Slovakia’s chief hygienists Jan Mikas’s decree permitting even COVID-positive MPs to attend parliamentary sessions as a mockery of the public, and it plans to file a criminal complaint over the matter, LSNS spokesman Ondrej Durica told TASR on Monday.

“It’s a display of arrogance towards all people who’ve been restricted in their right to movement and performance of employment, and children in their access to education, under the threat of fines and criminal prosecution. It follows from this decree that either the disease isn’t so dangerous, or the measures are ineffective, or government politicians are more than other people,” said Durica.