Yesterday, at long last, MPs finally voted in favour of cancelling their privileged immunity from criminal prosecution as of 1 September, but only time will tell how effective the new system will be and if it won’t be abused by successive governments to persecute the opposition.
The vote taken yesterday will put several MPs in precarious situations thanks to affairs from the past, including the likes of former defence minister Lubomir Galko, who came under scrutiny over a wiretapping scandal involving politicians and journalists, which led to him being recalled as minister in November 2011. Then there is Igor Stefanov, former construction minister and MP for the nationalist party SNS, who was at the centre of the now infamous notice board tender. Another in the firing line is former MP from the Christian democratic KDH party, Andrej Durkovsky, over what many felt were dubious contracts he signed, especially just before he left the office of mayor of Bratislava.
The new legislation might not be fully utilised to bring justice to the happy few who sit in parliament, but it may get some to think twice the next time they want to take advantage of holes in the system or the secure shield that MP immunity provided to them till now.