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
- Czech Supreme Court upholds sentence for hate posted about non-white first-graders: Not a joke, but the promotion of Nazism
- Czech Police prosecuting one of the men who assaulted Romani people in Sokolov this summer, Internal Affairs says officers' procedure was correct
- Czech MP Okamura (SPD) to lose lower house vice-chair post because of his hatemongering, according to Civic Democratic Party member
- Doctor in Slovakia refuses treatment to Romani toddler because his mother was unvaccinated, he died shortly thereafter
- Slovak Government apologizes for anti-Jewish measures during WWII
- Jaroslav Miko: Romani voters must cast their ballots for a democratic coalition, otherwise anti-Romani extremists may get into government
- LIVE AT 16:00 CET: Pope Francis meets Romani people at Košice's Luník IX housing estate in Slovakia
- Czech moderator cuts short interview with party chair who refuses to distance herself from anti-Jewish texts
- Czech court sentences social media user to two years in prison, suspended for two years, for promoting terrorism
- Germany's Supreme Court rejects appeal filed by racially-motivated murderer of 10 people
- Romani runner in Slovakia whose junior career has been so hopeful confirms she is pregnant
- "Kamara - just a n****r" - Czech Police looking for football fans who published racist banner