The Slovak Republic was constituted on 1 January 1993 after its formal separation from the Federation of Czech and Slovak Republics. In 1992 the Slovak parliament adopted new constitution, which formally prepared the separation from the federation with Czechs. The Constitution has undergone five changes, the major one in 2001.
The Slovak Republic is structured on the parliamentary model, with the three highest constitutional officers: The President, the Speaker of the National Council and the Prime Minister of the Government. Among the constitutional officers also rank: constitutional judges, The President of the Highest Court, The President of the Control Office and The General Prosecutor.
All Slovak citizens over the age of 18 can vote. All Slovak citizens over the age of 21 can run for office. Candidates for the General Prosecutor and Ombudsman must be over 35. Candidates for constitutional judges must over 40. The candidates for the Presidency must be Slovak citizens over the age of 40.
Role of the President of the Slovak Republic
The Head of the Slovak Republic is the President who is Head of State. The President represents the Slovak Republic externally and internally, and secures by his decisions the due operation of constitutional bodies. The President performs his office in accordance with his conscience and his conviction, and he is not bound by any orders.
The President is directly elected by the public by secret ballot for a five year term.
The President takes the oath of the office in front of the National Council of the Slovak Republic and is sworn by the President of the Constitutional Court of the Slovak Republic at noon on the day that the previous five-year Presidential term ends.
The President negotiates and ratifies international agreements. Negotiations of international agreements can be delegated to the Government of the Slovak Republic or with approval of the Government to its respective members. The President can submit a motion to the Constitutional Court of the Slovak Republic for a decision on compliance of the agreed international agreement with the Constitution of the Slovak Republic (hereinafter only "the Constitution") or with a constitutional act that necessitates the approval of the National Council of the Slovak Republic.
The President receives diplomatic credentials presented to the Slovak Republic and can give credentials to and recall the heads of the Slovak Republic's diplomatic missions.
The President can dissolve the National Council of the Slovak Republic (Parliament) under a range of circumstances:
- In the event that the National Council does not approve a newly appointed government or the government's program within six months of receiving either,
- If the National Council does not act within 3 months on draft government legislation;
- If the National Council fails to reach a quorum for three months or suspends itself for longer than the constitutionally-permitted four months. The President can not dissolve the National Council during the last six months of its four-year term or in time of war.
The President appoints and can recall all ministers of Government, including the Prime Minister, and a number of other officials as stipulated by law as well as chancellors of institutions of higher learning, university professors, generals of the armed forces. The President of the Slovak Republic can mitigate court sentences, grant amnesties and invidvidual clemency.
The Slovak President is commander-in-chief of the armed forces and is the office that would issue a declaration of war if one should pass as a resolution of the National Council of the Slovak Republic and the President orders a military mobilisation if so proposed by the Government. The President also sues for peace.
As the President can appoint and recall leaders of the executive branch, so the President can appoints and recalls in the judicial branch, the President, Vice-President and judges of the Constitutional Court of the Slovak Republic, the Supreme Court, the Prosecutor general, the Judiciary Council and he administers their oaths.
The current President of the Slovak Republic is Ivan Ga?paroviĘ.
Ivan Ga?paroviĘ - President
Role of the Speaker of the National Council and the National Council of the Parliament of the Slovak Republic
The National Council (Parliament) of the Slovak Republic is the legislative branch of the Slovak Republic. As the only constituency-based and elected institution, it is primary in authority in the government and other state bodies derive their authority from it.
The National Council plays a central role in the development of the Slovak Republic as a modern, democratic State. The 150 deputies of the National Council are chosen for four year terms in direct elections by secret ballot.
The National Council's activities and legislative agenda are managed and organized by the Speaker and Deputy Speakers. The National Council sits in continuous session and is only out of session when a four year term of office concludes or when the National Council suspends its session only by passing a resolution for a suspension that cannot exceed a period of four months in a single year. The National Council sits during the sessions regularly from Tuesday through Friday.
The National Council performs its constitutional authority by means of its constituent meeting and currently held meetings within the duration of its term of office. A special status has, from the aspect of significance, its constituent meeting which is convoked by the President of the Slovak Republic so that it is held within 30 days from the day when results of elections are promulgated. This is a meeting at which the National Council elects its Speaker, Deputy Speakers, establishes its committees, with the exception of those that are established by law, and elects its chairmen and members.
All meetings of the National Council are public. The only times that the doors can close, in whole or in part, are when matters involve state secrets or trade secrets, or when specifically stipulated by law. Any other closure requires special agreement and must pass the National Council by three-fifths majority.
The current Speaker of the National Council (Parliament) is Pavol Hru?ovskÝ.
Pavol Hru?ovskÝ - Parliament Speaker
Role of the Prime Minister and Government of the Slovak Republic
Led by the Prime Minister who is Head of Government of the Slovak Republic, the Government is the highest executive authority and it is responsible for management and administration of all Slovak Republic ministries and other government activities. The Government consists of the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Ministers and other Ministers.
The Prime Minister is appointed by the President of the Slovak Republic. Other members of the Government are proposed by the Prime Minister and appointed on that rec ommendation by the President of the Slovak Republic; all appointees to the Government must be elected deputies of the National Council. Within 30 days of the appointments, the entire Government must submit its program to the National Council and receive a vote of confidence. The Government remains fully accountable to the National Council.
The current coalition government, led by Prime Minister Mikulí? Dzurinda has been in office since 2002. This is the second term for Prime Minister Dzurinda who is the only head of government in Central or Eastern Europe to serve more than one term as Prime Minister in the 15 years since democracy was restored and established in the region.
The current Prime Minister of the Slovak Republic is Mikulí? Dzurinda.
Mikulí? Dzurinda - Prime Minister