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President Gašparovič refuses to sign amendments for second time but laws take effect

President Ivan Gašparovič again declined to sign an amendment to the Act on Prosecuting Authorities after his previous veto was overridden by parliament on June 28, the TASR newswire reported. Parliament overrode Gašparovič's veto with 80 votes after he had first returned the amendment saying it should not be adopted all. In its vote parliament modified only the law’s effective date. Except for certain provisions, the law will take effect in October.

President Ivan Gašparovič again declined to sign an amendment to the Act on Prosecuting Authorities after his previous veto was overridden by parliament on June 28, the TASR newswire reported. Parliament overrode Gašparovič's veto with 80 votes after he had first returned the amendment saying it should not be adopted all. In its vote parliament modified only the law’s effective date. Except for certain provisions, the law will take effect in October.

Justice Minister Lucia Žitňanská drafted the amendment to improve transparency and more open processes for prosecuting authorities via the introduction of open selection processes for prosecutors and by making prosecutors’ decisions public. The amendment underwent a number of changes in the legislative process. Gašparovič had criticised the proposed changes several times before and submitted five reservations towards the amendment in his veto.

Gašparovič also again refused to sign the amendment to the Press Code that was approved by parliament last week after he had previously vetoed it. Because the president's veto was overridden by parliament, Gašparovič's refusal to again sign the law does not mean that it will not become effective.

Parliament did not agree with the president's request that the term 'good manners' be removed from the amendment. Publishers will be permitted to refuse to publish a correction, reaction or additional notice in response to a published article if this constitutes a crime, misdemeanour or other offence, or is at odds with good manners and the legally-protected interests of third persons.

The amendment to the Press Code also restricts the right of public officials to reply if the published information concerns their public role, although they will still enjoy full rights as private persons. The amendment also prohibits a person from asking for financial compensation if a correction, reply or additional announcement is not published. Once the amendment comes into effect, courts will only rule on whether or not replies should be published.

Source: TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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