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President returns flawed social insurance bill to parliament

Slovak President Ivan Gašparovič will return to parliament the amendment to the law on social insurance that contains contradictory provisions caused by flawed voting, he said at a press conference.

Gašparovič said he received the version of the amendment to the social insurance law that was approved by parliament, which contains two contradictory provisions, from Speaker of Parliament Pavol Paška. The president said he decided not to sign the law, adding that MPs should search for a compromise in the future.

The problem was that MPs approved two contradictory proposals in a chaotic vote. The second amending proposal was submitted by opposition MP Iveta Radičová (SDKÚ) and approved by the majority of MPs.

Paška also landed in hot water for his handling of the law, the Sme daily wrote on November 6.

The draft bill was supposed to be published on the internet within three days after the vote. Paška admitted that he ordered the legislative department to ignore parliament’s vote and publish a version that did not contain Radičová´s proposal.

The speaker said he thought he had the power to make such decisions. He wanted to choose between two contradictory provisions and opted for the first one.

But opposition MPs were angered by the decision, announcing on November 5 that they were ready to file a non-confidence motion against Paška. They said he breached democratic rules because he ignored voting results.

Paška eventually decided to send the version of the law containing both contradictory provisions to the president for his signature, because this was the final version approved by the MPs, he said.

-SITA

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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