Yesterday Slovak MPs showed just how much they enjoy their protection from criminal prosecution as they voted down the draft Constitutional amendment to scrap the luxury of MP immunity.
Only 32 of 138 MPs in attendance in parliament took the moral stance to scrap criminal immunity for MPs, judges and other senior public officials, with the rest finding one excuse or another to turn down the motion already in the first reading.
The motion had been submitted by independent MP Igor Matovic and his 3 partners from the Obycajni Ludia faction of the SaS party, the only party really to extend its support for it.
The motion received just 3 MP votes each from the other coalition partners SDKU, Most-Hid and KDH. It is fairly ironic that the rest of the coalition MPs in attendance voted against the bill, because less than six months ago they stood on the other side of the fence.
Hardly surprising is that the motion received no support from Robert Fico’s Smer-SD party or Jan Slota’s nationalist SNS party, although former SNS deputy head Anna Belousovova (now an independent after being thrown out of the party), chipped in her vote, possibly in the knowledge that the bill would not be passed anyway.
A symbolically small victory in this sense came earlier in the week, though, as the motion to strip MPs of their immunity in the case of minor public offences was pushed through to a second reading. It will essentially prevent these ‘public servants’ from speeding, drunk driving or parking wherever they want, for instance. At least in practice, but the bottom line is whether police officers will actually charge them, and if they do, then the fine will diminish into oblivion next to their chunky ‘immunity-free’ salaries.