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Opposition rejects merging voting dates

Opposition parties said on May 29 they would refuse to support the merging of some voting dates in 2009, when the European Parliament (EP), a two-round vote for Slovak president and a two-round elections to local governments' bodies (VÚCs) was scheduled.

Opposition parties said on May 29 they would refuse to support the merging of some voting dates in 2009, when the European Parliament (EP), a two-round vote for Slovak president and a two-round elections to local governments' bodies (VÚCs) was scheduled.

Opposition SDKÚ MP Peter Miššík says is natural that elections should be held on separate dates. He doesn't believe that merging some of the votes onto one day would increase turnout. Miššík also said that it didn't represent a long-term problem, as the VÚC elections were held in four-year intervals while the presidential election and the election of MEPs take place every five years.

Opposition KDH caucus chair Mária Sabolová said she didn't see any reason to change the dates of the vote either. If an adjustment of dates is considered in the future, politicians should agree upon them at the beginning of the specific electoral period, she said, adding that those interested in voting would do so.

The opposition SMK doesn't support the possible merging of the presidential election with EP election.

"Brussels has already decided on the date of the European Parliament election ... it will be held in the first week of June in all EU countries over the same three-day span," party spokesperson Eva Dunajská told the TASR newswire. "Meanwhile, the Slovak Constitution specifies the date of the presidential election. These two dates are different, so the SMK assumes that merging the votes would be technically demanding and politically dangerous."

According to Coalition Smer vice-chair Miroslav Číž, the party recognises the benefits of merging the dates, and it is considering the situation. However, he mentioned the existing technical obstacles, as well. Coalition HZDS vice-chair Miroslav Jureňa thinks that the merging of elections would bring its desired effect (a higher turnout), and he would opt for merging the EP election and the vote for the president (without specifying whether it would be the first or second round). The merging of the dates has been put forward by coalition SNS vice-chair Anna Belousovová and MEP Monika Beňová (Smer-SD). While Belousovová proposed to merge the EP election with the VÚC vote, Beňová preferred to merge the EP and presidential votes. TASR

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

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