Bratislava, November 29 (TASR) – The Government emerged from the will of Parliament and not from the will of Prime Minister Robert Fico (Smer-SD), and so it’s completely against the rules of political culture to force MPs to vote in a particular way on a matter that exclusively concerns Parliament by threatening them with the fall of the Government, stated representatives of the Opposition Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) party at a press conference on Wednesday.
Parliamentary Vice-chair Lucia Duris Nicholsonova of SaS and her party colleague Natalia Blahova were responding to Fico’s statement earlier in the day that he’ll link the vote on a salary freeze to a no-confidence motion in the Government if MPs don’t change their stance on adopting the bill via fast-track proceedings.
“This is pure blackmail, and besides, there’s absolutely no reason to apply fast-track proceedings in this regard, as none of the conditions enabling this extraordinary legislative procedure has been met,” said Duris Nicholsonova, adding that when coalition MPs rejected fast-track proceedings for this matter, they acted in accordance with the law and their constitutional oaths.
According to SaS, applying fast-track proceedings so that the bill on a salary freeze is adopted is at odds with the law, as it can only be applied if fundamental human rights and freedoms or security are in danger, or great economic damage might occur.
“If Premier Fico manages by blackmail to change the attitude of Government MPs, it will mean that he forced them into an unlawful act … If the coalition MPs succumb to the prime minister’s blackmail, they’ll only prove that they are unlawful puppets. We call on them to put a stop to Robert Fico’s dictatorial manners,” said Blahova, adding that SaS is against a further salary freeze, as the party views it as a populist measure. SaS sees a solution, for example, in reducing flat-rate expenses for lawmakers and their taxation.
Meanwhile, the Opposition OLaNO party responded to the issue by saying that Fico by his actions is stirring up instability in Slovakia and blackmailing his coalition partners.
“This Government is a government of scandals, it’s incapable and unstable. In the summer a coalition crisis emerged over an EU funds scandal, now Robert Fico is unable to keep order with a simple bill such as a salary freeze for constitutional officials,” said Veronika Remisova of OLaNO at a press conference.