Slovakia – PM survives no-confidence motion and update on presidential vetoes

In Slovakia, the government has survived a motion of no-confidence.

The government, led by Iveta Radičová from the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ), is a coalition of the SDKÚ, KDH, SaS, and Most–Híd. According to my information, the coalition has the support of 77 of the 150 seats in the parliament.

Last week, the opposition parties, Smer and the Slovak National Party (SNS), lodged a motion of no-confidence in the government. The Slovak Spectator states that the opposition criticised the government for “poor leadership of the country, and made allegations about a case of suspected corruption linked to the construction of a government-subsidised biathlon stadium in Osrblie and cover-ups of up alleged party cronyism during a tender to rent tax offices in Košice which was won by a company, Nitra Invest, owned by Ondrej Ščurka, a member of Radičová’s Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ).”

The no-confidence motion was debated yesterday and lasted 12 hours. The debate came at a difficult time for the government. The Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) party is opposed to the proposed changes to European Financial Stability Fund (EFSF), the mechanism that underpins the Greek, Irish and Portuguese bailouts in the Eurozone.

In the end, the SaS supported the government. The Slovak Spectator reports that the no-confidence was opposed by 78 votes and supported by only 69 votes. Even though the government survived, the situation remains unstable at least until Slovakia and the SaS determines its position on the EFSF.

In addition, I thought that I would take this opportunity to provide an update about presidential vetoes. In a previous post, I reported that the president had vetoed two bills in December and that the votes to overturn them had taken place in February. In June, President Gašparovič vetoed three more bills, the Act on Use of Minority Languages, an amendment to the Press Code, and the so-called Act on Prosecuting Authorities. Last week, The Daily Slovakia reports that parliament met and overturned all three vetoes.

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