Government could suffer over Citizenship Act

First 2011 parliamentary session tomorrow (c) The Daily

The government will have its work cut out for in the first parliamentary session of 2011, which kicks off tomorrow, as it will have to deal with various issues that could test its resolve.

One hot issue will be that of dual citizenship, as the government passed a draft bill last week that means people requesting dual citizenship would no longer have their Slovak citizenship annulled, which would then open up the floodgate for ethnic Hungarians in Slovakia to gain also Hungarian citizenship, for instance.

A spanner could be thrown in the works, though, as the Obycajni Ludia (Ordinary People) faction of ruling coalition party SaS doesn’t agree with the new proposed legislation. Although the faction only has four MPs in parliament, it is enough to crush the majority of the vulnerable coalition and so prevent the bill from being passed.

Head of the faction, Igor Matovic, feels that the law does not resolve the situation in relation to the Hungarian law that led to all the friction in the first place. He wants the issue of second passports to be conditioned to stricter conditions, so that only people with proper entitlement can be granted dual citizenship (e.g. those who have worked, lived or done business there or who have strong family ties there).

Opposition party Smer-SD would also like to see the issue subject to stricter conditions, proposing that a stay of at least six months would have to precede the granting of dual citizenship.

Another point of debate is that proposed by ruling coalition party KDH, which wants to ban people holding two passports from being employed in the security forces. The KDH party wants to incorporate this clause into the State Service Act. This restriction is opposed by Matovic’s faction and also the predominantly Hungarian coalition partner Most-Hid.

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