A long-awaited law unifying the rules for all elections held in Slovakia finally sailed through parliament in late May. Before the law was passed, the government allowed the public a period of time to discuss the new rules and to reach a consensus across the political spectrum. Despite this, opposition parties and political transparency watchdogs have serious concerns about some of the rules. On May 29, parliament passed new election rules which are to become effective only in 2015, meaning that, stricter control over campaign financing and limits on campaign spending will not be applied in the municipal elections taking place this autumn. The new election law is replacing six laws that set out the rules for different kinds of elections in Slovakia, with the declared aim of unifying the rules for elections, and to make the running and financing of political campaigns more transparent.
The new rules include the introduction of an independent body to oversee party financing and campaigning, new limits on campaign spending, and an equal moratorium for all elections taking place in Slovakia.
Some of the new rules, mainly those regarding election campaign financing, come as a response to recommendations from the Group of States Against Corruption (GRECO) on the transparency of political funding. GRECO criticised Slovakia in October 2013 for its inability to promptly make the necessary changes, and set a deadline for rectifying the situation for July 31, 2014. Originally, the new election code was supposed to come into effect in 2013, but was postponed to July 2015.
Full Article: Voting rules to change – The Slovak Spectator.