Should the political parties follow new rules?

The draft amendment is not aimed against anyone, SNS chair Andrej Danko stressed.

Andrej DankoAndrej Danko (Source: SITA)

It is important that elections are democratic and all parties follow the same conditions and rules, said Andrej Danko, chair of the Slovak National Party (SNS), when presenting the draft amendment to the law on political parties and political movements.

As he stressed, the proposal is not aimed against anyone, but rather for something.

“The law on political parties requires changes,” Danko said, as quoted by the SITA newswire.

Danko continued that we have already lived in an era with a single political party.

“No one could imagine that one day there would be parties without a registered address, like shell companies,” Danko continued, as quoted by SITA. “Or that they would not admit new members or have brothers or girlfriends on their candidate lists or that people would not know who is financing them.”

Despite his claim that the law is not aimed against anybody, Danko pointed to Igor Matovič, Miroslav Beblavý and Martin Dubéci, whom he called on to reveal how the parties in which they have been active were financed, the Hospodárske Noviny daily reported.

New rules for elections

Danko opines that if a party wants to fight for power in a country, it needs to have democratically-set basic mechanisms so it is open to accept new members. It also needs to have transparent finances. At the same time, the representatives of abolished parties should not be allowed to enter the new movement immediately, as reported by SITA.

The amendment is expected to introduce a new regulation for the parliamentary elections and election to the European Parliament. One of the basic conditions for the running parties requires parties have the minimum number of bodies and members.

The amendment also defines the bodies and minimum number of their members. Every party will need to have a revision commission, an arbitration body and an executive body (i.e. leadership). The highest party body should be an assembly, while each will have a statutory representative. Every body will have to be composed of three members, while the executive body will have nine members, according to SNS MP Tibor Bernaťák.

Parties running for the parliamentary and EP elections will have to submit a list of the number of party members, apart from the list of candidates and electoral deposit. The number of party members should be twice as high as the number of candidates, Bernaťák added, as reported by SITA.

OĽaNO has conditions

The opposition Ordinary People and Independent Personalities (OĽaNO) movement said it would vote for the bill, but only if Danko includes three demands in the draft.

“So that each party has a transparent account set up and each item in the account is published, so that each party publishes a list of its members, and that political parties have to make public documents and contracts, just as even the smallest community in Slovakia is required to do,” said Matovič, chair, of OĽaNO, as quoted by SITA.

However, Matovič expects that Danko will not accept the conditions. If he does, he would prove that he really sought to achieve transparency in politics in this way.

“We are convinced that not quantity, but quality of members in a political party is important,” Matovič said, as quoted by SITA.

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