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SLOVAK GOVERNMENT'S DECISION ON THE REFERENDUM ISSUE

Cries of a constitutional crisis unfounded

The Government of the Slovak Republic, according to Article 105, Section 1 of the Constitution of the Slovak Republic, is performing the function of the President of the Slovak Republic, and claims that the decision of the President of the Slovak Republic on Feb. 20, 1998 on the announcement of the time for the referendum to be carried out [April 21, 1998] cannot be published in the Law Digest of the Slovak Republic because of the following reasons:
The decision of the President as of Feb. 20, 1998 is not a decision on the referendum declaration but is decision on the announcement of the time when it should be carried out.

The Government of the Slovak Republic, according to Article 105, Section 1 of the Constitution of the Slovak Republic, is performing the function of the President of the Slovak Republic, and claims that the decision of the President of the Slovak Republic on Feb. 20, 1998 on the announcement of the time for the referendum to be carried out [April 21, 1998] cannot be published in the Law Digest of the Slovak Republic because of the following reasons:

The decision of the President as of Feb. 20, 1998 is not a decision on the referendum declaration but is decision on the announcement of the time when it should be carried out.

The Act of the National Council of the Slovak Republic No. 1/1993 of the Law Digest on the Law Digest of the Slovak Republic lists precisely which decisions of the president can be published in the Law Digest of the Slovak Republic (Section 1, Paragraph 2, letter b). A decision on the announcement of the time when the referendum will be carried out is not listed among them. Therefore, it cannot be published in the Law Digest.

Even when the legal designation of the decision of the President of the Slovak Republic as of Feb. 20, 1998 is not taken into consideration, this decision does not meet the requirements of the announcement of the referendum declaration set up by law (the Act of the National Council of the Slovak Republic, No. 564/1992 in the Law Digest - (Section 2, Paragraph 2).

It is not possible to avoid the fact that in the decision of the President as of February 20, 1998 two different referendums are joined, including the referendum originally initiated by the National Council of the Slovak Republic, and this act does not have legal basis. By the merging of the referendums, the citizen was again deprived of the possibility of making a free decision in which referendum he would participate.

Further, the Government claims that the decision of the Slovak Republic's President on Feb. 20,1998 could not by carried out. If it were carried out, it would have repeated a previous referendum on the first three questions, which would have been in contradiction with the Constitution of the Slovak Republic, in which it is written that a referendum on the same matter can be repeated no sooner than three years after its first performance (Article 99, Section 2). The May 1997 referendum was valid because neither the President of the Slovak Republic, nor any other authorized entity, submitted a complaint to the Constitutional Court of the Slovak Republic. As far as the fourth question is concerned, which relates to the direct election of the president, the Constitutional Court already decided by its Resolution No. 139/1997 of the Law Digest that it was not in agreement with the current law.

With regard to all presented facts, the Government, performing the function of president, came to the conclusion that the decision of the President of the Slovak Republic of Feb. 20, 1998 on the announcement of the time when the referendum should be carried out inevitably must be canceled.

The Government of the Slovak Republic, performing the function of president, does not intend to provoke other problems in society. On the contrary, the Government wants to solve the situation in a constitutional way in conformity with legislation.

According to the Constitution of the Slovak Republic, the president should be elected by the National Council of the Slovak Republic. If the National Council of the Slovak Republic does not elect a president by the end of June 1998, the Government will submit a draft of an amendment to the Constitution of the Slovak Republic to the National Council of the Slovak Republic. This would outline the constitutional basis for the direct election of the president by citizens. Direct election of the president would then occur on the day of elections to the National Council of the Slovak Republic.

On the basis of the above-stated reasons, the Government claims that fears of a constitutional crisis are not well-founded.

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