Parliament on Tuesday, April 27, failed to back the Slovak National Party (SNS)-drafted Patriot Act, which it had approved earlier this year but which was subsequently vetoed President Ivan Gašparovič. As a result, the proposal will lapse. The TASR newswire wrote that while a total of 77 MPs backed the bill in March, a mere 29 out of 89 legislators present in the house on Tuesday voted in favour of the initiative.
Only a small fraction of MPs from the Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS), which like the SNS is a junior party in the ruling coalition, joined SNS MPs in supporting the bill. By contrast, the vast majority of MPs representing Smer, the main party in the governing coalition, abstained from voting. All the opposition Christian-Democratic Movement (KDH) and Hungarian Coalition Party (SMK) MPs, plus the majority of fellow opposition Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ) legislators, were absent for the vote.
Gašparovič vetoed the Patriot Act last month, saying that schools would not be able to obtain the necessary equipment (such as loudspeakers for playing the national anthem, and several state symbols) within such a short period of time. However, Gašparovič said at the time that he otherwise supported the law.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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28. Apr 2010 at 10:00