NEWS IN SHORT

Agreement reached on election code

INTERIOR Minister Robert Kaliňák and representatives of the opposition agreed on March 11 to establish a permanent 14-member election committee to supervise the elections and the management of parties. The change is part of a new draft law geared toward uniting the rules for all types of elections in Slovakia. The draft law is currently in its second reading.

INTERIOR Minister Robert Kaliňák and representatives of the opposition agreed on March 11 to establish a permanent 14-member election committee to supervise the elections and the management of parties. The change is part of a new draft law geared toward uniting the rules for all types of elections in Slovakia. The draft law is currently in its second reading.

The MPs will discuss the draft legislation in May. The final version might still be different from the current proposal, as the opposition wants to suggest some changes, as reported by the TASR newswire.

“The committee will control the financing of the political parties, election campaigns and observing election rules,” Kaliňák said, as quoted by TASR, adding that it will also sanction those who violate the rules.

The committee will be composed of five nominees from the ruling parties and five nominees from the opposition, while the Supreme Court, the Constitutional Court, the General Prosecutor’s Office and the Supreme Audit Office will have one nominee each.

The current proposal may still change as the opposition will submit several suggestions for amendments. It, for example, proposes strengthening the position of preferential votes and creating more election precincts. Kaliňák said that some of these changes may be accepted, TASR wrote.

The new election law should impose financial limits on campaigns and a campaign moratorium on all elections and ban polling agencies from publishing their polls two weeks before the election day. The candidates will have to publish any campaign contributions and detail how they used them. Moreover, the law proposes opening transparent accounts that would be viewable to the public, as reported by SITA.

Kaliňák introduced the new draft law last summer, with the aim of imposing the rules in time for the upcoming presidential elections. The opposition disagreed, saying that the changes would come in the middle of the campaign, according to TASR.

If passed in parliament, the new rules will go into effect with the parliamentary elections in 2016.

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