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7569Re: [Slovak-World] Slovakia - Second round

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  • Martin Votruba
    Apr 5, 2004
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      > I wouldn't take Meciar's apparent change of tune at face value

      I agree, Scott.

      > The real fight will be in stamping out corruption and cronyism

      The Slovak President has no chance to do anything about it. He can just
      talk, should anyone care to listen.

      He is _not_ the head of the government, just a ceremonial figurehead, kind
      of an elected constitutional king (like in those European countries that
      still have royalty).

      The Slovak President has no business attending the Cabinet's meetings, has
      no say in the cabinet's composition, no say in its policies, in the
      country's defense... The Slovaks actually expect the President to leave
      his political party when elected, and appear to be non-political,
      non-partisan.

      The Slovak Cabinet does not answer to the President -- it answers to the
      Parliament. The Cabinet's head, i.e., the chief of the executive is the
      Prime Minister, not the president. The Prime Minister's office is the
      Slovak parallel to the office of the U.S. President.

      The only political thing the Slovak President can do is return a bill
      (drawn up by the Cabinet, not him, and passed by the Parliament) to the
      Parliament for another vote.

      But even that is much less of a deal than when the U.S. President returns
      a bill to Congress (although it can prove troublesome given the
      multi-party composition of Slovak Parliament).

      In Slovakia, such a returned bill has to be passed by merely more than 50%
      of all the Members of Parliament. To be specific, in the 150-member
      single-chamber Parliament, it has to get at least 76 votes no matter how
      many legislators are present.

      Otherwise, a bill is passed by just the majority of the Members of
      Parliament present for the given vote, provided that more than 50% of all
      the Members of Parliament are present. That is to say that -- minimally
      -- if at least 76 Members of Parliament are present of whom at least 39
      vote for the bill, it is passed.


      Martin

      votruba "at" pitt "dot" edu
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