Slovak PM Iveta Radicova was supposed to have a meeting today with opposition leader Robert Fico to negotiate support for the government’s plans to curb MP immunity, so that MPs would no longer be above criminal liability. The meeting didn’t take place in the end as Fico called it off.
The government proposal to restrict the scope of immunity enjoyed by MPs and the judiciary made it into the second reading in parliament in August with the support of 81 of 144 present MPs, but to pass the legislation the government needs a constitutional majority of 90 MPs.
Robert Fico and his Smer-SD party have made it clear that they do not want to lose this luxury, which Fico reiterated again today at a press conference. Fico declared that he would not support a change to constitutional law or to the criminal immunity enjoyed by MPs.
He did say he didn’t mind ridding MPs of their immunity for minor offences, under the condition that constitutional officials must stop using a flashing blue light on their cars. A rather strange condition.
Fico claims that he is against reducing the criminal immunity of MPs and judicial officials as he fears the current government’s criminalisation of the former government that he led. Regarding other constitutional changes planned by the ruling coalition, he basically said it was they who promised the changes, so they should deal with it by themselves.
Neither Fico nor his party therefore look set to do the ruling coalition any favours, but instead look determined to stand in the way of their plans as much as possible.