Pellegrini Calls on Matovic to Resign, Ready to Initiate Ouster Attempt

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Parliamentary Vice-chair Peter Pellegrini (photo by TASR)

Bratislava, July 17 (TASR) – Parliamentary Vice-chair Peter Pellegrini (Independent) at a news conference on Friday called on Prime Minister Igor Matovic (OLaNO) to keep his promise and resign from his post over his diploma thesis scandal.

According to Pellegrini, a thief and a liar cannot be allowed to hold the prime minister’s post. If Matovic doesn’t resign of his own volition, Pellegrini’s group of MPs will start collecting signatures on Monday (July 20) to convene a special parliamentary session with Matovic’s ouster as the sole point on the agenda.

Pellegrini stated that Matovic has based the whole of his political existence on the promise that he’d fight thieves and that he won the election and became the prime minister based on this. “Only four months after the election it’s been shown that the prime minister himself is a thief. This isn’t an insult on my part, but his own words. Matovic confessed that he had stolen other people’s ideas and that is why he’s a thief,” said Pellegrini.

Pellegrini noted that two weeks ago Matovic claimed that his diploma thesis was his own work and that he’d just asked his friend to retype it. “He lied to everyone in Slovakia, even though he knew very well that he’d committed the same act that he criticised other people for,” he said.

The parliamentary vice-chair added that he’s ashamed of a prime minister who is currently meeting EU leaders in Brussels. “It’s a shame not only for him but for all of us to have a prime minister in Brussels today with an academic degree gained in a questionable manner,” he said. After the scandal regarding Parliamentary Chair Boris Kollar’s (We Are Family) diploma thesis broke, Matovic was asked what he would do if he were in his place. He replied that he would probably feel aggrieved, but he personally would probably resign, said Pellegrini.

According to media reports, Matovic’s diploma thesis on the tax system plagiarised two books written by three Slovak economists. The prime minister has apologised to all honest students in a Facebook post and admitted that he engaged in plagiarism back in his university days and should lose his academic degree. He added, however, that he’ll step down only after he delivers on every promise he made to people before the 2020 election.