POLITICIANS of the ruling Smer party suggested when speaking to the media over the weekend that the party might support the Christian Democrats’ initiative to protect marriage as a bond between a man and a woman in the Constitution.

The KDH earlier started a petition among MPs to propose this constitutional amendment. In order for it to pass through parliament, a constitutional majority of 90 MPs is needed, which means that Smer (holding 83 chairs in the 150-seat parliament) would have to support the amendment too.

There are enough Smer MPs who find it reasonable to reinforce marriage through a constitutional amendment, Culture Minister Marek Maďarič admitted on the Sunday debate of the public-service RTVS.

Maďarič however said that the KDH must be “dead serious” about the proposal and remarked that in 2010 when coalition negotiations were taking place, Smer tabled an offer to the KDH involving such a proposal but the KDH then chose to form a government that included liberals instead (the government of Iveta Radičová, which also included the liberal Freedom and Solidarity party). Maďarič discussed the issue in connection with the upcoming presidential election, noting that independent candidate Andrej Kiska, who is the most likely competitor for Smer candidate Prime Minister Robert Fico in the second round run-off, is known to support same-sex registered partnerships.

"I'm wondering, therefore, if the KDH will be thorough in supporting a constitutional amendment on family and marriage, and at the same time whether or not it will support a candidate who backs registered partnerships," said Maďarič, as quoted by the TASR newswire.

Later in the day, Fico, speaking to a press conference in Košice, suggested Smer would welcome a draft amendment to the constitution that would include both the KDH proposal on the protection of marriage as well as the changes pertaining to judiciary reform that Fico recently announced. He said that both of these issues require an accord between the government and the opposition.

"Unless we strike an accord with the opposition, neither a reform of the judiciary nor the individual proposal tabled by the KDH chairman [Ján Figeľ] on Sunday will be passed," said Fico, as quoted by TASR.

Fico’s projected constitutional changes concerning the judiciary should address the splitting of the posts of Supreme Court chairman and Judicial Council chairman between two people and lay the groundwork for clearances of judges.

"The changes should involve looking into judges' bank accounts, reviews of their relationships - whom they meet up with and if the people they meet have a criminal history by any chance," said Fico, as quoted by TASR.

Source: TASR, RTVS

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