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Sociologist: MPs’ proposal to merge election dates already doomed to failure

A proposal that some election dates in 2009 be merged, made by Slovak National Party (SNS) MP Anna Belousovová and Smer-SD MEP Monika Beňová, will fail, according to sociologist Pavel Haulík. “It would be convenient to synchronise the election cycles. But MPs won’t even consider it,” Haulik told the TASR newswire on May 26. In 2009, four or five elections are set to take place: one or – more likely – two rounds of the presidential election; elections to the European Parliament (EP); and two rounds of regional elections. This number of elections will greatly endanger the turnout, according to Haulík. Belousovová's proposal to merge the date of regional – VÚC - elections with those to the EP would shorten the term of regional executives and deputies by six months, and is therefore almost certain to generate resistance from the politicians affected. The Euro-elections will take place throughout the EU in June, but regional elections in Slovakia are traditionally held in late November and early December. 2009 will be the third set of VÚC elections since decentralisation in 2001. Haulík also expects a more moderate proposal submitted by Beňová, to merge the date of the Euro-election with the presidential election, to fail. The presidential election is set to take place in April and this would mean shifting it to June. Since prolonging the term of an incumbent president isn’t permitted, it would mean that Prime Minister Robert Fico would have to execute presidential powers for up to three weeks, something which the opposition would never allow, according to Haulík. TASR

A proposal that some election dates in 2009 be merged, made by Slovak National Party (SNS) MP Anna Belousovová and Smer-SD MEP Monika Beňová, will fail, according to sociologist Pavel Haulík. “It would be convenient to synchronise the election cycles. But MPs won’t even consider it,” Haulik told the TASR newswire on May 26. In 2009, four or five elections are set to take place: one or – more likely – two rounds of the presidential election; elections to the European Parliament (EP); and two rounds of regional elections. This number of elections will greatly endanger the turnout, according to Haulík.

Belousovová's proposal to merge the date of regional – VÚC - elections with those to the EP would shorten the term of regional executives and deputies by six months, and is therefore almost certain to generate resistance from the politicians affected. The Euro-elections will take place throughout the EU in June, but regional elections in Slovakia are traditionally held in late November and early December. 2009 will be the third set of VÚC elections since decentralisation in 2001.

Haulík also expects a more moderate proposal submitted by Beňová, to merge the date of the Euro-election with the presidential election, to fail. The presidential election is set to take place in April and this would mean shifting it to June. Since prolonging the term of an incumbent president isn’t permitted, it would mean that Prime Minister Robert Fico would have to execute presidential powers for up to three weeks, something which the opposition would never allow, according to Haulík. TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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