Kaliňák heralds savings of €1.5 million in election bill

Changes to laws governing elections should yield savings of up to €1.5 million over the next two years, Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák said Tuesday, July 30. Kaliňák also said he was surprised by criticism from opposition politicians regarding changes to election law now before parliament. As things stand, elections are governed by six different laws. The ministry is seeking to unify the rules for all elections. The process also involves amending the act on political parties and political movements. The new law would re-introduce a moratorium on campaigning 48 hours before elections, while the pre-election period during which the publication of election polls would be banned is to be extended from 14 to 21 days. "We're ready to accept all reasonable proposals that may make the law better, ensure its transparency and fairness," said Kaliňák as quoted by the TASR newswire. Changes are set to be discussed first by the government this summer. According to the minister, no accord has been struck on an independent authority that would be put in charge of the funding of political parties and their campaigns. Before such an authority is established, across-the-board agreement in parliament has to be reached, said Kaliňák. In the interim, the Interior Ministry is charged with overseeing compliance with the rules and the possibly levying of fines. He added, however, that NGOs dislike the idea of politicians keeping tabs on politicians.

Changes to laws governing elections should yield savings of up to €1.5 million over the next two years, Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák said Tuesday, July 30. Kaliňák also said he was surprised by criticism from opposition politicians regarding changes to election law now before parliament.

As things stand, elections are governed by six different laws. The ministry is seeking to unify the rules for all elections. The process also involves amending the act on political parties and political movements. The new law would re-introduce a moratorium on campaigning 48 hours before elections, while the pre-election period during which the publication of election polls would be banned is to be extended from 14 to 21 days.

"We're ready to accept all reasonable proposals that may make the law better, ensure its transparency and fairness," said Kaliňák as quoted by the TASR newswire. Changes are set to be discussed first by the government this summer. According to the minister, no accord has been struck on an independent authority that would be put in charge of the funding of political parties and their campaigns. Before such an authority is established, across-the-board agreement in parliament has to be reached, said Kaliňák. In the interim, the Interior Ministry is charged with overseeing compliance with the rules and the possibly levying of fines. He added, however, that NGOs dislike the idea of politicians keeping tabs on politicians.

Opposition Most-Híd MP Gábor Gál praised the idea of finding a consensus concerning the election law, telling the SITA newswire that although they want to table their own draft bill, they are ready to support the debate on the government proposal and find compromise. Other opposition MPs criticise some of the new measures (especially the moratoriums for communal elections) and the lack of independent control procedure.

(Source: TASR, SITA)
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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