Bratislava, May 19 (TASR) – Opposition OLaNO-NOVA leader Igor Matovic’s decision not to attend parliamentary sessions over alleged death threats he received on the street will be dealt with by the parliamentary mandate committee, chairman of the body Richard Rasi (Smer-SD) told TASR on Friday.
Matovic has already sent in advance apologies for his absence at all parliamentary sessions in May and June.
Nonetheless, Rasi on Friday obviously wasn’t impressed with the attitude of Matovic, who believes that Parliamentary Chairman Andrej Danko (Slovak National Party/SNS) may be linked to the death threats.
“My personal opinion is that if a person has an employment contract, they just can’t skip work. MPs take an oath on the Constitution, promising on their own honesty and conscience their fidelity to the Slovak Republic, stating that they’ll be carrying out their duties in the people’s interest, observing the Constitution and other laws, and working to bring them to life,” said Rasi, adding that Matovic thus appears to be violating his oath.
Also, the parliamentary Rules of Procedure prescribe MPs to attend both plenary sessions and sessions of their respective committees, noted Rasi.
“As he’s not attending [plenary sessions], a paragraph applies to him stating that if an MP violates their oath in a serious way, the highest sanction is the plenum’s proposal that they should relinquish their mandate,” said Rasi, adding that even though Matovic is ready to give up his salary, he’ll still continue to produce a cost of some €2,580 per month for assistants etc.
Reacting to Rasi, Matovic told TASR that the Constitution allows everybody to resist anyone’s attempts to do away with the democratic order of fundamental human rights and liberties.
“My boycott of parliamentary sessions is a display of this kind of resistance against the dictatorial and bullying practices of Parliamentary Chairman Andrej Danko, who has sunk to reading and censoring letters from my voters,” said Matovic in reference to a recent controversy regarding the opening of letters containing offensive content by the parliamentary front desk.
Matovic further pointed out that he’s presented 82 legislative proposals – the highest number from among all MPs – since the general election in the spring last year. “Rasi has submitted as many as one. Meanwhile, such a parliamentary layabout, who doesn’t hesitate to collect two salaries for loafing around [Rasi is also mayor of Kosice – ed. note], goes out to sermonise me. I only can say that I feel embarrassed even on his behalf. In other words, Rasi will have to sit another 82 years in Parliament to manage to produce as much as I’ve done in the one year since the election,” said Matovic, adding that it’s “naive and stupid” to think that only such MPs who sit in the chamber and press voting buttons do work.
“I continue doing the main bulk of my work – I meet people, listen to their problems, I analyse them, propose solutions, draw up legislative proposals and submit them to Parliament. I’m only leaving the final phase – voting – up to my colleagues,” added Matovic.
“As for [the cost for] assistants, I can only state that while my assistants are so busy that they don’t know what to do first, the average Smer-SD assistant does nothing and has half of their salary returned to their MP. I’m not a lodger of the [parliamentary] dormitory and if they want to charge me for occasionally parking in the garage, they’re welcome,” added Matovic.