No agreement on election codex

PARLIAMENT will not pass the Election Codex at its January session, with lawmakers unlikely to discuss the matter until March.

PARLIAMENT will not pass the Election Codex at its January session, with lawmakers unlikely to discuss the matter until March.

Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák and the opposition failed to come to an agreement on the line-up for the permanent Election Committee - tasked with supervising elections and the campaigning and funding of political parties - at their meeting on January 21. According to the ministry proposal, the committee should have 14 members: five nominated by the governing coalition, five by the opposition, with the Supreme Audit Office, General Prosecutor, the judiciary and former state presidents represented as well.

The idea to put former presidents on the committee was turned down, as well as a proposal to involve the ombudsman in the process. Miroslav Kadúc of Ordinary People and Independent Personalities (OĽaNO) would like to see more independent members on the committee. “We want to have people there who are somewhat separate from the state,” he said, as quoted by the TASR newswire.

Kaliňák conceded that it would be better if the permanent committee supervised only the campaigning and funding of political parties, with the Central Election Committee still in charge of supervising elections.

This view is shared by independent MP Daniel Lipšic (NOVA party) who does not think, however, that the permanent committee needs to supervise the funding of political parties, as that task currently falls under the remit of the Supreme Audit Office.

The Election Codex is set to unify rules and regulations for all elections, and to introduce financial limits on campaigning, an election moratorium for all elections (currently in effect only for some of them) and a ban on election polls two weeks before election day.

Originally, Kaliňák planned to introduce the new legislation in time for the 2014 presidential election. This was strongly rejected by the opposition, which felt that changing the rules while campaigning was underway would be unfair. As the new legislation is being postponed for weeks, the changes will concern neither the March presidential nor the May European Parliament elections.

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