President Andrej Kiska decided not to sign a revision to the law on the rules of procedure passed by parliament on December 6, Martin Lipták from the press department of the Presidential Office disclosed on December 15. In spite of this the new rules will become effective as MPs overrode the president’s veto.
At their final session held this year MPs once again passed an amendment to Parliament’s Rules of Procedure, thereby overturning the president’s veto with 79 votes.
President Kiska had vetoed the amendment in November, as he saw the possibility of it being used to interfere with political rights and freedoms, including the freedom of expression, which is guaranteed by the Slovak Constitution. In addition, he did not like the amendment because he thinks it could be considered as inappropriate political duress from the current coalition majority, aimed at restricting the effectiveness of the opposition’s politics.
The amendment was proposed by coalition MPs from the ruling parties, Smer, the Slovak National Party (SNS) and Most-Híd. It was originally initiated by Parliamentary Chairman Andrej Danko (SNS).
In line with the amendment, legislators speaking on behalf of a caucus will have 30 minutes to make their points, while those who are responsible for submitting a proposal will have unlimited time. Moreover, ministers and parliamentary vice-chairs will have only 20 minutes to speak. An exception will be accorded them if they face a call for their dismissal.
In addition, the amendment introduces a ban on banners, posters, leaflets and other audio-visual presentations as well as on all materials promoting one political party or another. Legislators will also be prohibited from taking photographs, making sound or audio-visual recordings or facilitating any kind of audio-visual transmission of parliamentary sessions. Only the Parliament Office and media will be allowed to do this.
16. Dec 2016 at 1:41 | Compiled by Spectator staff