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Cabinet wants sessions to be secret

ACCORDING to the government's draft amendment to the Act on the Social Partnership, audio recordings of cabinet sessions will not be made available to the public, the Pravda daily reported on December 27.

The Fair-Play Alliance NGO has criticized this intention, arguing that the sessions should be subject to public scrutiny.

The proposal has also been criticised by the opposition, which introduced the Freedom of Access to Information Act while in government from 2002 to 2006.

"Recordings from cabinet sessions, with the exception of those on classified issues, should be made available to everybody who asks for them. The cabinet is doing everything it can to prevent this," said former Justice Minister and Christian Democrat MP Daniel Lipšic.

Lipšic noted that if the proposal passes, not even MPs would have access to the recordings.

Maroš Kondrót, an MP for the ruling coalition Smer party, has defended the proposal. "People don't need to know which minister said exactly what, or who coughed, or who sneezed," he said.

However, according to Zuzana Wienk from the Fair-Play Alliance, even the government's chosen method of presenting the proposal is unusual, as the Social Partnership has nothing to do with cabinet session recordings. "PM Robert Fico also said recently that he doesn't plan to push such a proposal forward," she said.

The proposal is set to be discussed by parliament in February.

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