Slovak President vetoes law to end runoff voting for Regional Governors
Slovak President Andrej Kiska has vetoed a law on abolishing runoff elections for the Governors of Regional Administrations. The press department of the Office of the Slovak President informed the Czech News Agency of the veto on 24 February.
The coalition government of Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico has enough votes in the legislature to overturn the veto, though. According to Kiska, the justification for the proposed changes, which was that runoffs feature low voter turnout and that it would save money to hold just single-round elections, is biased and incomplete.
The Slovak head of state reminded the public that low interest in participation has always accompanied the first round of voting for Regional Governors to date. No candidate has ever received more than 15 % of the total vote during the first round of those elections.
The introduction of single-round voting such that the candidate with the highest number of votes would be declared the winner was adopted by the Slovak Parliament last month. The next Regional Governor elections are scheduled for this November.
According to the runoff rules, a candidate could win election after the first round only by receiving more than half of the votes cast. The adjustment to the electoral rules has been criticized by the opposition, according to whom the innovation might aid extremist candidates and incumbents, six of whom were supported during the 2013 elections by Fico's party, "Direction-Social Democracy" (Směr-SD).
Of course, the existing two-round system most recently aided the current head of the ultra-right "Kotleba-People's Party Our Slovakia" (LSNS), Marian Kotleba, who surprisingly became the Governor of the Banská Bystrica Region four years ago. In the run-off, Kotleba defeated the incumbent Governor for Směr-SD, Vladimíra Maňka, whose first-round victory had been narrow.
- Stano Daniel: We need to rescue dogs from Slovakia's settlements but not humans?
- Slovak Police investigate suspected racially-motivated assault against dark-skinned French student
- Slovak Regional Governor spreads rumors about attempted rape on a train, police refute them
- Slovak TV program focuses on Romani girl who studies despite living without electricity
- Researcher seeks US veterans and others with information about Romani WWII veteran from Czechoslovakia
- Slovak Police charge woman with threatening Muslims and Roma through Facebook, she faces six years in prison
- Slovakia: Criminal charges filed against play about neo-Nazi arson attack in Czech Republic
- Slovak Parliament changes regional election rules, extremists could benefit
- Slovakia: Romani businessman stopped from distributing food to the homeless by authorities
- Slovak Prime Minister refers to Romani people as "Gypsies" during media appearances
- Slovakia: More than 50 children from socially deprived families institutionalized since year began
- Slovakia: Entrepreneur organizes food distribution to the needy
- Slovakia: MP for fascist party criticizes recipients of state honors because of their origins and work
- Slovak President gives state honors to 20 figures, including Czech politician
- Slovak President addresses anti-Romani sentiment in New Year's Day speech
- Slovakia: Commander of brutal police raid against Romani people prosecuted
- Slovak PM targets Roma in his speeches, critics say he should focus on his own corruption scandals
- Slovakia: Many youth support the ultra-right, study finds
- About 1 000 Romani residents of a single Slovak village have been working in Britain and now fear Brexit
- Slovakia ahead of elections: Romani candidate suing fascists for defamation
- Czech expert says haters' attention is fixating on Roma again, "migration" as a subject is over
- Czech intelligence: Right-wing extremists return to anti-Roma rhetoric, public tolerance of racism and xenophobia in politics rising
- Czech fan of ultra-nationalist party gets suspended sentence for wearing Nazi symbols to demonstration
- Germany: Right-wing extremists "patrolling" in Berlin
- Austria: Wiener Symphoniker names Dalibor Karvay its new first concertmaster
- LIVE BROADCAST TODAY AT 19:00 CET: "Light in the Darkness" - Romani community gives awards in Slovakia
- Poland: Ultra-right members arrested for planning terrorist attack days after ultra-right march in the capital
- Slovakia: Ultra-right calls for "asocials" to be sent to labor camps, police investigating
- German Govt approves measures to combat right-wing extremism, requires social media firms to report IP addresses of users making death threats
- Michal Mižigár: What democracy brought us Romani people in the Czech Republic in the 1990s
- In future, Czech quarterly reports on extremism may mention only settled cases, not ones in progress