Slovakia now has an MP from the Romani minority, Štefan Vavrek
Wire services report that Slovakia's unicameral legislature has just seated a new MP. After MP Edita Pfundtnerová (Most-Híd) relinquished her seat in order to become a state secretary at the Justice Ministry, Romani community member Štefan Vavrek has now replaced her.
"On my honor and conscience I pledge fidelity to the Slovak Republic. I will fulfill my duties in the interest of her citizens," Vavrek promised as he took the oath of office at the beginning of the 34th session of the legislature.
"I will uphold the Constitution and all other laws and work to see them brought to life," the new MP pledged. He is slated to join the economic committee.
"I am taking office midway through the term as the train is already in motion, but I believe my colleagues will aid me," Vavrek said. He also said he will be glad to act in Parliament as an extension of the Slovak Government Plenipotentiary for the Romani Community.
Vavrek is the second Romani MP in the recent history of the Slovak legislature, after Peter Pollák. The most Romani people ever seated in the highest legislative body of what was then Czechoslovakia was 11 in 1990, primarily thanks to Emil Ščuka.
Two days after the 17 November 1989 police intervention against demonstrators in Prague that eventually led to the democratic transition, Ščuka established the preparatory committee of the Roma Civic Initiative (Romské občanské iniciativy - ROI), joining forces with Civic Forum in the Czech Republic and the Public against Violence in the Slovak Republic. The most recent Romani MP in the Czech Republic was Monika Horáková (1998-2002), who today is named Monika Mihaličková.
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