Government Crushes 3 Vetoes of ‘Symbolic’ President
This week the government coalition took no heed of the vetoes of President Ivan Gasparovic regarding three laws, as it passed all three in the form that it drew them up.
Firstly, on Tuesday the government pushed through its revision to the much-disputed Minority Languages Act, a law that the President wanted to be totally rewritten and not revised. The revision has undergone many changes since it was first put forward by Deputy PM Rudolf Chmel, with the threshold for minority languages to be allowed in official communication in municipalities to be slimmed down from 20% to 15% only after ten years.
Secondly, the objections of the President to the revised Act on Prosecuting Authorities from justice minister Lucia Zitnanska were also ignored. President Gasparovic was against the law altogether. The coalition claim the law will increase the level of transparency in the judicial system, while the opposition are saying it is just an excuse for the coalition to gain control over the judiciary.
The third Presidential veto concerned the controversial Press Act, which the government passed at the session today. The revision counteracts the changes imposed by the former government of Robert Fico, meaning politicians no longer have the right to reply in the media on issues concerning their public function, while the right is preserved for personal matters.
The new Press Act also stops public officials from being able to demand financial compensation if a publisher did not publish the reply. This was something that was allegedly misused several times before, but now the courts will only judge on whether or not a reply if to be published without any such penalty.