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President Gašparovič vetoes amended Press Act and Prosecution Service Act

Members of the Slovak parliament must again discuss and vote on the amendment to the Press Act as President Ivan Gašparovič did not sign the approved bill and returned it to parliament with a recommendation to incorporate his proposals for changes, the President's Office told the SITA newswire on June 22. The amended law was to take effect on July 1 and was aimed at curbing the right of response by public officials.

Members of the Slovak parliament must again discuss and vote on the amendment to the Press Act as President Ivan Gašparovič did not sign the approved bill and returned it to parliament with a recommendation to incorporate his proposals for changes, the President's Office told the SITA newswire on June 22. The amended law was to take effect on July 1 and was aimed at curbing the right of response by public officials.

The president also vetoed the bill on prosecution service, suggesting several fundamental changes and recommending that parliament not approve it as a whole after a new debate. The bill on prosecution services would introduce competition for prosecutor posts, publication of prosecutors’ decisions and eliminate the process of prosecutors-in-training.

Gašparovič vetoed the amendment to the Press Act for political reasons, Culture Minister Daniel Krajcer from Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) party said after a government session, saying the president's legal reasoning was unfounded. In returning the legislation to parliament, Gašparovič said that he is not against the law as such and made only one comment – that lawmakers should define "good manners", a term used throughout the bill.

"President Gašparovič signed eight laws between 2006-10 in which the term 'good manners' appeared," commented Prime Minister Iveta Radičová and she argued that the president's rejection of the law may be due to the law's purpose – to restrict the right of reply by public officials such as the president, MPs, ministers, mayors, and political party chairs and vice-chairs.

Gašparovič's spokesman Marek Trubač responded that "the president has two options in each law adopted by Parliament – either to sign it or to refer it back. Naturally, every decision of his will be met with rejection or approval," he told TASR.

Source: SITA, TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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