Opposition Turning to Constitutional Court Due to Land Expropriation Law

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Marosz of OLaNO-NOVA on land expropriation amendment (photo by TASR)

Bratislava, June 15 (TASR) – The Opposition is turning to the Constitutional Court due to the law amendment that enables highway construction work on plots of land before they are expropriated, Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) and OLaNO-NOVA MPs told a news conference on Parliament’s premises on Thursday.

The two parties assume that the amendment includes several provisions that are at odds with the Constitution. “I believe that the Constitutional Court will uphold our position,” stated MP Jan Marosz (OLaNO-NOVA). At the same time, the lawmakers are asking the court to issue a preliminary ruling that will postpone the effects of the law.

“We are suggesting this preliminary ruling because the law has taken effect as of June 2 and it could thus happen to you that dredges start running on your plot of land,” described MP Miroslav Ivan (SaS).

The MPs are mainly criticising the amendment for the inappropriate interference with the fundamental right to own property. “Dear citizens, if we don’t stand up for your constitutional rights now, this roller, this governing coalition will gain an appetite for further projects that might be situated on your plots of land,” added Marosz.

The amendment on one-off extraordinary measures in preparing some highway construction work was prepared by the Transport and Construction Ministry led by Arpad Ersek (Most-Hid). Parliament approved it in a fast-track legislative procedure in May. After being vetoed by President Andrej Kiska, Parliament passed it again. It has thus taken effect even without being okayed by the president.

Under the amended legislation, a new legal institution of ‘preliminary possession’ has enabled certain reversible stages of work on land to the extent deemed necessary before the time-consuming expropriation process is concluded.

The Transport Ministry argued that the amendment was necessitated by problems involving the buying out of plots of land needed for building the Bratislava Bypass and which land speculators have been demanding extortionate prices for. The ministry came up with the amendment in order to allow construction to begin sooner than the court issues a ruling regarding the land prices.