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Bugár: Constitutional Court should look into State Citizenship Act

The leader of one of the four governing coalition parties, Béla Bugár of Most-Híd, has launched a stinging attack on the amendment to the State Citizenship Act passed by the previous government of Robert Fico (Smer). The law currently states that that anyone who obtains foreign citizenship must automatically forfeit their Slovak citizenship; it has been criticised since it came into effect.

The leader of one of the four governing coalition parties, Béla Bugár of Most-Híd, has launched a stinging attack on the amendment to the State Citizenship Act passed by the previous government of Robert Fico (Smer). The law currently states that that anyone who obtains foreign citizenship must automatically forfeit their Slovak citizenship; it has been criticised since it came into effect.

At a press conference held on Monday, August 8, Bugár said the law was unconstitutional and impossible to implement in practice. Because of this, he said, Most-Híd plans to collect the signatures of 30 MPs in order to have the act examined by the Constitutional Court. "Most-Híd will take the following three steps: our lawyers have prepared a complaint to be filed with the Constitutional Court; we'll approach the prime minister [Iveta Radičová] and ask her to support our efforts to scrap the unconstitutional sanctions in the act; and, last but not least, we want the Coalition Council to discuss this issue as well," said Bugár, as quoted by the TASR newswire.

According to the Most-Híd chair, approximately 100 Slovak citizens have applied for Hungarian citizenship so far, with one person already reporting that he had lost his Slovak citizenship. "None of these people expressed any desire to lose their Slovak citizenship," stressed Bugár. "We believe that no other way to address the issue exists but to do away with the effects of Fico's amendment to the State Citizenship Act," he said, adding that the current legislation paves the way for creating a group of people with questionable legal status. "The law will remove Slovak citizenship, but these people will continue to live in Slovakia, work here, and pay health-care and social insurance. Most-Híd is convinced that no state power should act in an unconstitutional way and deprive its own people of citizenship."

Most-Híd’s rival for Slovak-Hungarian votes, the Hungarian Coalition Party (SMK), backed the move, saying it would do its utmost to change the current form of the State Citizenship Act. "To that end, we'll co-operate with anyone who seeks the same goal," SMK representatives said on Monday. At a session held on August 8, the SMK presidium discussed the case of Levice district SMK chair László Gubík, who has publicly announced that he has received Hungarian citizenship. The party said it was ready to provide him with any political, legal and expert help.

Source: TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

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