Budapest, February 13 (MTI) – Former Socialist official Gabor Simon has returned his lawmaker’s mandate in a letter addressed to the house speaker on Thursday, the press office told MTI.
Spokesman Zoltan Szilagyi said the letter was not hand-delivered. The Chief Prosecutor’s Office told MTI that Simon’s resignation has “removed a legal obstacle from the launch of criminal proceedings” against him.
Simon quit his post as the party’s deputy leader last week, saying he would give up his seat in parliament after reports that he had undeclared assets worth 240 million forints (EUR 780,000) held on an Austrian bank account. Antal Rogan, the parliamentary group leader for the ruling Fidesz party, has accused Simon of holding the sum for the Socialist Party.
The parties of the left-of-centre Union alliance have replaced Simon on their national election list.
According to parliament’s website, Simon’s mandate expired on February 12.
The Socialists said they will not support the idea that a parliamentary committee should be charged with investigating Simon’s assets. Parliament is not an investigative authority, and the legislature should not become a tool for political campaigning, the party told MTI in a statement today.
Gyorgy Rubovszky, the head of parliament’s immunities committe, had proposed that the committee should be tasked with running an investigation into Simon’s assets declaration and seek legal means to force Simon to pay back his salary earned as an MP.
House Speaker Laszlo Kover told journalists in parliament that the case is no longer in parliament’s scope of authority and thus does not concern the speaker, either. He said the procedures to be followed in this case are clear.