Parliament votes to dock opposition MPs’ pay
Parliament voted to dock the salaries of 10 Socialist and 1 independent lawmaker on Tuesday.
The ruling, proposed by house speaker László Kövér and voted for exclusively by lawmakers of the governing parties, docks one third, 249,292 forints (EUR 810), of the monthly salary of independent lawmaker Tímea Szabó.
After the inauguration of President János Áder at the start of his second term on May 8, Szabo stood on her chair and held up a marionette with Ader’s face affixed to the puppet’s head, saying “he isn’t a president but a puppet”.
Kövér said Szabó had severely offended the dignity of the office.
During a speech of Socialist lawmaker Ágnes Kunhalmi on the Central European University on April 10, ten Socialist lawmakers held up signs reading “Veto” and “Don’t sign it, Janos” – the latter referring to President Ader who was to sign the higher education amendment bill into law shortly after.
The pay of five Socialist lawmakers was cut by 50,000 forints while the pay of another five was reduced by 100,000 forints.
The Socialist Party will turn to the European Court of Human Rights if parliament decides to vote in favour of reducing the pay of lawmakers who broke the chamber’s rules, the party’s deputy chairman said earlier on Tuesday.
Zoltán Gőgös, one of the MPs covered by the ruling, said the punishment was handed down because the ruling Fidesz party could not “abide the voice of the people in parliament”. He also accused Kövér of having applied the rules indiscriminately and of failing to follow proper procedures.
He said the European court had form when it came to ruling in favour of people who had been denied their right to free speech.