Slovak President Ivan Gašparovič will announce a referendum that was initiated by the Freedom and Solidarity party (SaS), the SITA newswire reported. The Presidential Office decided that the "Referendum 2009" petition, comprising six issues, meets the terms required for a petition.

The referendum features questions regarding the cancellation of concessionaire fees paid to public service media, curbing of deputy immunity, lower the number of MPs, the maximum price for limousines used by the government, voting via the internet and a change to the Press Code.

Gasšarovič will announce the referendum within 30 days of the petition delivery. As many as 401,126 signatures were collected for the petition and 386,000 were found to be valid according to the Presidential Office. SaS, which initiated the petition, made it into parliament in the June election and party leader Richard Sulík and his colleagues delivered the petition sheets to the Presidential Palace on June 9, three days before the election.

Four issues on the referendum have been included in the programme statement of the centre-right coalition of the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ), SaS, Christian Democratic Movement (KDH) and Most-Híd party, SITA wrote. The parties agreed to curb deputy immunity, cancel viewers and listeners fees, introduce voting via the internet and amend the Press Code. SaS assumes that the referendum ballot could be held on November 27 when municipal elections are held in Slovakia.

Source: SITA

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.