Parliament Fails to Acknowledge Ombudswoman’s Report for 2019

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ombudswoman Maria Patakyova (photo by TASR)

Bratislava, May 14 (TASR) – The Parliament on Thursday failed to acknowledge the Public Ombudswoman Maria Patakyova’s report for 2019.

Fifty law-makers voted against its adoption, while 34 MPs supported it and 46 MPs abstained from the vote. In addition to opposition MPs, the whole We Are Family Caucus and several OLaNO MPs didn’t support the report. Only eleven from the 53-strong OLaNO caucus voted for the report’s adoption.

Several OLaNO MPs didn’t support the ombudswoman’s report for 2019, as she paid only marginal attention to the issue of delays in court proceedings and they also had a problem with her attitude to the protection of the right to life.

“The ombudswoman herself stated that excessively prolonged court proceedings have been the most frequent violation of fundamental human rights for a long time. Despite this, she paid only marginal attention to it. A mere 1.5 pages of the 100-page document was dedicated to the issue,” OLaNO spokesperson Dasa Macarikova has told TASR, adding that the document didn’t contain proposals on how to address these delays.

A part of the OLaNO caucus criticised Patakyova for not paying sufficient attention to the protection of fundamental human rights, including the right to life in her report. “Meanwhile, she paid disproportionate attention to the second generation of human rights or to other issues that are not directly related to the protection of fundamental human rights,” said Macarikova.

Parliamentary human rights committee vice-chair Vladimira Marcinkova (For the People) views it as worrying that the Parliament did not acknowledge the report, seeing the debate on it in the House as worrying as well. She views the institution as key for the functioning and protection of the rights of the most vulnerable groups in Slovakia.

Committee member Ondrej Dostal (Freedom and Solidarity/SaS) views it as legitimate if MPs of the governing coalition have different opinions on value issues. “Nevertheless, I don’t view it as right if this results in such a hostile gesture against the institution protecting fundamental rights and freedoms,” he told TASR. Dostal believes that the ombudswoman has been doing her job well and deserves their support.

We Are Family caucus head Peter Pcolinsky has told TASR that his party’s MPs had reservations against the report, chiefly concerning the LGBTI issue. “We don’t view Mrs. Patakyova as a person who would fight for human rights, but we have a feeling that she’s been most interested in the LGBTI issue since she has assumed the post,” he said.