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Amended EP Election Act reduces Slovak MEPs

The number of Slovak MEPs will be reduced from 14 to 13 in the period between 2009-14, according to an amendment to the European Parliament Election Act that was unanimously approved by parliament on December 3.

The number of Slovak MEPs will be reduced from 14 to 13 in the period between 2009-14, according to an amendment to the European Parliament Election Act that was unanimously approved by parliament on December 3.

The change is related to the accession of Bulgaria and Romania to the EU last year. The maximum number of elected representatives set by the Treaty of Nice in February 2001 is 732 MEPs, but the new Bulgarian and Romanian representatives have brought the number up to 785. This means that the number of MEPs will have to be adjusted in most member states.

If the Lisbon Treaty is ratified, the European Parliament will have 751 members including the chairman. According to the new legislation, party membership won't be indicated on the list of candidates. In addition, candidates will be able to withdraw from elections no later than 48 hours before they take place. Previously the term was three days.

Lists of candidates will also be provided in electronic form, which will simplify the printing of electoral ballots and the work of the Central Election Commission. In addition, the Interior Ministry, which organizes all elections and referendums, will have to publish information on the candidates and voting conditions on the internet no later than 80 days before the elections take place. The amendment will come into effect on February 1, 2009. TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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