Constitutional Court: Referendum Question Not In Line With Constitution

Constitutional Court: Referendum Question Not In Line With Constitution

Bratislava, July 7 (TASR) – The subject of the proposed referendum on shortening Parliament’s term in office is not in line with the Constitution, Constitutional Court chairman Ivan Fiacan announced following a non-public session of the court’s plenum on Wednesday.

“The controversial subject of the referendum is contrary to the principle of generality of law, because with the force of a constitutional act, in one specific case, it would circumvent the constitutionally enshrined rules concerning the creation and functioning of Parliament as a constitutional and legislative body. At the same time, this arbitrary violation of the Constitution would violate the method of division of state power enshrined in the current Constitution, which is also part of the material core of the Constitution,” said Fiacan.

According to the Constitutional Court, contrary to the Constitution and the principles of general legal norms and the division of state power, the subject of the referendum would circumvent the constitutional articles on a one-time basis and for a specific case, according to which the election term of Parliament is four years and Parliament is dissolved by the president.

“If the Constitutional Court allowed such a breach of the general constitutional rules, then it would pave the way for such interventions in the Constitution, through which it would be possible to remove barriers protecting the people from abuse of state power,” said Fiacan.

President Zuzana Caputova asked the Constitutional Court whether or not the subject of the proposed referendum is in accordance with the Constitution, and, if so, how the relevant constitutional bodies should proceed after a valid referendum.

The petition for a referendum on a snap election was signed by more than 585,000 people. It was initiated by the opposition Smer-SD party, joined by the non-parliamentary Voice-SD and the Slovak National Party. All three parties claim that the proposed referendum is civil and apolitical.