The ever-controversial MP Alojz Hlina has been stirring things up in parliament, by attacking another MP and then holding up the parliamentary session by remaining silent for two hours when holding the floor.
Independent MP Hlina got into a scuffle with Smer-SD MP Anton Martvon on Wednesday, running up to him, grabbing his hands and pushing him off his chair. Now Martvon says he plans to press charges against Hlina for assaulting a public servant and disorderly conduct. The Parliamentary Rules themselves do not deal with the issue of physical attacks or aggression, but the Parliamentary Mandate and Immunity Committee will be dealing with the incident. The committee can charge Hlina a fine of around EUR 166, while the criminal charges could, theoretically by the Penal Code, work out at a few years in prison.
On Thursday, in the second incident, Hlina blocked the session in parliament for over two hours in protest as to how interior minister Robert Kalinak was refusing to listen to him and answer his questions, as Kalinak kept leaving the house each time Hlina addressed him. This led Hlina to stay on the floor silent for hours, until house speaker Pavol Paska called the session to an end, with parliament set to reconvene on 12 September.
Hlina was demanding that ministers be present during question time, but as was cynically pointed out by Smer-SD MPs, the Parliamentary Rules of Procedure only demand that they be ‘in parliament’ and not necessarily in the chamber. Interior minister Kalinak, on the other hand, refused to remain int he chamber until Hlina apologised to Martvon for the incident the previous day.
As the school bickering goes on, parliamentary chairman Pavol Paska came under fire for not forcing members of the cabinet, his and that of Smer-SD, to be present in the chamber, being accused of putting his party’s interests before that of making sure the institution functioned properly.