Parliament will honor Constitutional Court decision, says Speaker

NEWS 22.10.2020 18:10
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Source: Patrik Macek/PIXSELL

Speaker Gordan Jandrokovic said on Thursday parliament would honour a Constitutional Court decision and ensure the technical requirements for protecting MPs' health without restricting their rights and duties during debates.

“We have several options,” he told the press, adding that the most realistic one was to continue working in the parliament building, with plenaries held in several chambers, which would require investing in the necessary equipment.

“It’s the only way to comply with the Constitutional Court decision, so that each of the 151 MPs can attend debates, speak at any moment, not just when they are in the main chamber.”

Parliament will continue working in line with epidemiological standards

Jandrokovic said consultations would be held with the caucuses and that he was confident parliament would be able to continue working by seeing to epidemiological standards. He added that the Constitution and Standing Orders Committee would sit next week to seek solutions to comply with the court decision.

He said a less realistic option was for parliament to continue sitting in the main chamber with 41 MPs present, with the possibility for MPs who were outside to come in and speak.

Another option is to look for other premises where all 151 MPs could attend, complying with epidemiological measures, Jandrokovic said, but added that this option would not be good as it would require “huge funds”.

He said the decision on parliament’s work during the pandemic was adopted by the previous parliament and that the Social Democratic Party, which later filed a complaint at the Constitutional Court, had voted for it.

“At that time it was necessary. We did the right thing and in good faith,” Jandrokovic said, adding that holding the next session would pose “a certain problem.”

He said that with its decision to quash the changes to parliament’s Standing Orders that were adopted due to coronavirus, the Constitutional Court “put the MP above the caucus.”

Jandrokovic said he trusted common sense “because times are not easy” and that it was more important to fight against the virus than insist on whether an MP was entitled to speak.