Slovak MPs adopted 139 bills and amendments in 2011. A clear majority, 122 of them, were submitted by the cabinet. Thirteen were filed by deputies and four were drafted by parliamentary committees.
Darina Jahelková, from parliament's communications office, said on Tuesday, January 3, that a total of 234 legal norms were submitted to parliament, with 129 drafted by the cabinet, 102 by MPs and three by parliamentary committees, the SITA newswire reported. The reason why so few deputy-proposed drafts were adopted was that parliament has postponed discussion of MP-drafted laws four times since July and over 50 have since piled up. Most have not yet even made it to a second reading and will not therefore be adopted before the general election in March, since legal deadlines make it impossible in such a short time under the normal legislative procedure.
Parliament used its fast-tracked procedure 16 times, with 12 of the fast-tracked drafts being submitted by the cabinet. A new record was set by an amendment made to the constitution in just one day, October 21, 2011. This happened in order to allow the existing cabinet to continue governing the country until the March 2012 election after it lost a confidence vote in parliament: the Constitutional and Legal Affairs Committee led by Christian Democratic Movement (KDH) MP Radoslav Procházka drafted the amendment in the morning, the cabinet proposed a fast-tracked procedure, and in the evening parliament adopted it in three readings.
President Ivan Gašparovič vetoed 22 bills, 20 of which were later re-approved by MPs, thereby overriding his veto, SITA wrote. The most recent occasion on which parliament overrode a presidential veto was December 19, 2011, concerning a law which will freeze the salaries of MPs and the president in 2012.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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