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Kiska will support two questions in referendum

PRESIDENT Andrej Kiska revealed how he will vote in the referendum initiated by the Alliance for Family (AZR) that seeks to constitutionally define the concept of family. As a conservative person, he will support first two questions referring to the definition of marriage and rights of adoption for same-sex couples. He is, however, against the question regarding sexual education at schools, the president told the press on November 12.

PRESIDENT Andrej Kiska revealed how he will vote in the referendum initiated by the Alliance for Family (AZR) that seeks to constitutionally define the concept of family. As a conservative person, he will support first two questions referring to the definition of marriage and rights of adoption for same-sex couples. He is, however, against the question regarding sexual education at schools, the president told the press on November 12.

“There are questions to which I have a very clear attitude,” Kiska said, as quoted by the SITA newswire. “I am a conservative person who understands what minorities or other groups expect.”

Though he agrees that many things at school do not work as they should and he understands the objections to what is being taught, he said that “it is necessary that the schools offer basic sexual education”, as reported by SITA.

The referendum will contain three questions: Do you agree that no other cohabitation of persons other than a bond between one man and one woman can be called marriage? Do you agree that same-sex couples or groups should not be allowed to adopt and raise children? Do you agree that schools cannot require children to participate in education pertaining to sexual behaviour or euthanasia if their parents or the children themselves do not agree with the content of the education?

The president still cannot announce the date of the voting as he has not received the ruling of the Constitutional Court yet. According to him, it is taking the court too long.

“If no steps are made in the near future, I will take my own initiative in order to have the ruling delivered to the President’s Office as soon as possible,” Kiska said, as quoted by SITA. He added that immediately after receiving the verdict he will set the date of the voting.

The Constitutional Court issued its decision in late October, based on the motion submitted by Kiska, whether the questions, which were originally four, are in compliance with the constitution. The court ruled that three questions of the referendum are in compliance with the constitution, while one is not. The referendum was initiated by AZR which delivered to the president a petition signed by about 400,000 people, thus fulfilling one of the main legal requirements – the support of 350,000 citizens – for a plebiscite to be held in Slovakia.

The Constitutional Court had to deal with the referendum questions after Kiska took the unprecedented step in September to request the opinion of the court on the constitutionality of the referendum questions, arguing that there were legitimate doubts whether the proposed questions pertain to fundamental rights. In Slovakia, the constitution does not allow referenda to be held on fundamental rights and freedoms.

Source: SITA

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports

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