The Speaker of Slovak Parliament, Pavol Paška from Smer party, strongly rejected statements made by Richard Sulík, chairman of the non-parliamentary Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) party, who last week accused Paška of putting his own party interests above those of the people by describing SaS’s initiative for a referendum as a “political adventure” and an “attempt to attract attention”, the TASR newswire wrote.
Paška's spokesman Jozef Plško told TASR on Wednesday, February 3, that Paška has never expressed doubts over the petition law and the public's right to a referendum.
“The question of referendums is subject to the Constitution and Slovak laws, and calling it [a referendum] is an exclusive power of the president,” he said.
Paška suggests Sulik and his party should go into the general election on June 12 with its agenda, with which it will be able to offer a response to the issues that Sulík now wants addressed in the referendum.
SaS announced last week that late last year it managed to collect the 350,000 signatures needed to call its Referendum 2009 in Slovakia and that it is set to submit it to President Ivan Gašparovič, under whose authority plebiscites fall.
In the referendum, SaS seeks support for such proposals as scrapping mandatory television and radio licence fees, curtailing MPs' immunity, and downsizing parliament from 150 to 100 MPs, and others. TASR
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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4. Feb 2010 at 10:00