Slovakia: Notes

Execution of Functions of the President of the Slovak Republic during Vacancies

(a) 1993

On 1 Jan 1993 independent Slovenská republika came into existence, the office of Prezident Slovenskej republiky (= President of the Slovak Republic) remained vacant; according to Ústava Slovenskej republiky (zákon č. 460/1992 Zb.), Čl. 105 (1) (= Constitution of 1992, Art. 105 (1)), the Vláda Slovenskej republiky (= Government of the Slovak Republic) began to exercise all functions of the Head of State except for those excluded by the Constitution of 1992, Art. 105 (1):

Čl. 105 (1) Ak nie je prezident zvolený, alebo ak sa úrad prezidenta uvoľní a ešte nie je zvolený nový prezident, alebo ak bol zvolený nový prezident, ale ešte nezložil sľub, alebo ak prezident nemôže svoju funkciu vykonávať pre závažné dôvody, výkon funkcie prezidenta patrí vláde Slovenskej republiky, okrem oprávnení prezidenta podľa čl. 102 písm. d) až g). V takomto prípade môže vláda poveriť svojho predsedu vykonávať niektoré právomoci prezidenta. Na predsedu vlády prechádza v tom čase aj hlavné velenie ozbrojených síl.

Art. 105 (1) If no president is elected, or if the office of the president becomes vacant before a new president is elected or before the newly elected president has been sworn in, or if the president is unable to perform his function for serious reasons, the execution of the functions of the president falls upon the Government of the Slovak Republic, with the exception of presidential powers listed in Article 102 (d)-(g). In that case the Government can entrust the Chairman of the Government with executing some presidential powers. The supreme command of the armed forces is also transferred to the President of the Government in this period.

The functions of the Prezident Slovenskej republiky not entrusted to Vláda Slovenskej republiky were as follows:

Čl. 102 Prezident <...> d) môže rozpustiť Národnú radu Slovenskej republiky, ak tri razy do šiestich mesiacov po voľbách nedôjde k schváleniu programového vyhlásenia vlády Slovenskej republiky. Prezident je povinný vypočuť stanovisko predsedu Národnej rady Slovenskej republiky. Nové voľby vyhlási predseda Národnej rady Slovenskej republiky do 30 dní, e) podpisuje zákony, f) vymenúva a odvoláva predsedu a ostatných členov vlády Slovenskej republiky, poveruje ich riadením ministerstiev a prijíma ich demisiu; predsedu a ostatných členov vlády odvoláva v prípadoch uvedených v čl. 115 a 116, g) vymenúva a odvoláva vedúcich ústredných orgánov a vyšších štátnych funkcionárov v prípadoch, ktoré ustanovuje zákon; vymenúva profesorov a rektorov vysokých škôl, vymenúva a povyšuje generálov,

Art. 102 The President <...> d) may dissolve the National Council of the Slovak Republic if the policy statement of the Government of the Slovak Republic is not approved three times within six months after the elections. Prior to dissolving the National Council of the Slovak Republic, the president is obliged to hear the standpoint of the chairman of the National Council of the Slovak Republic. New elections will be called by the chairman of the National Council of the Slovak Republic within 30 days, e) signs laws, f) appoints and recalls the Chairman of the Government and other members of the Government of the Slovak Republic, entrusts them with the management of ministries, and accepts their resignation; recalls the Chairman of the Government and other members of the Government in the cases listed in Articles 115 and 116, g) appoints and recalls the heads of central bodies and higher-level state officials in cases specified by law, appoints university professors and rectors, appoints and promotes generals,

Exercising its constitutional right (Art. 105 (1)) to transfer some authority to the Predseda vlády (= Chairman of the Government), the Government of the Slovak Republic between 1 Jan 1993 and 2 Mar 1993 delegated its authority to Vladimír Mečiar (Chairman of the Government) on one occasion at least. On 12 Jan 1993, he was authorized to appoint ambassadors (decision of 12 Jan 1993): "Poveruje predsedu vlády v zastúpení prezidenta Slovenskej republiky vymenovať veľvyslancov Slovenskej republiky uvedených v časti A tohto uznesenia." This authorization was not permanent and the resolution was passed for a single purpose.

On 15 Feb 1993 Michal Kováč was elected Prezident Slovenskej republiky and entered the office upon his inauguration on 2 Mar 1993 at which point Vláda Slovenskej republiky ceased to exercise some functions of Head of State.

(b) 1998-1999

On 2 Mar 1998 the term of Kováč as Prezident Slovenskej republiky expired, but Národná rada Slovenskej republiky (= National Council of the Slovak Republic) had failed to elect his successor. The Government of the Slovak Republic again took over some functions of the Head of State except for those excluded by the Constitution of 1992, Art. 105 (1).

The resolution of the Vláda Slovenskej republiky of 3 Mar 1998 authorized Vladimír Mečiar (Chairman of the Government) to exercise some functions of Prezident Slovenskej republiky: "... poveruje predsedu vlády 1... podľa čl. 105 ods. 1 Ústavy Slovenskej republiky výkonom právomocí prezidenta uvedených v čl. 102 písm. a), b), h) a i), v čl. 134 ods. 4, v čl. 135, v čl. 138 ods. 2, 3, v čl. 139 a v čl. 150 Ústavy Slovenskej republiky."

When exercising some presidential functions solely for the purposes defined by the resolution of 3 Mar 1993 Predseda Vlády Slovenskej republiky used the formula "Predseda vlády Slovenskej republiky v zastúpení prezidenta Slovenskej republiky" ("Chairman of the Government of the Slovak Republic substituting for the President of the Slovak Republic").

In mid-1998, with the legislature still unable to elect Prezident Slovenskej republiky, the Government was facing the threat of resignation following parliamentary election. To prevent a constitutional crisis, the National Council passed Ústavný zákon zo 14. júla 1998, ktorým sa mení a dopĺňa Ústava Slovenskej republiky č. 460/1992 Zb. (= Constitutional Law of 14 Jul 1998 which amended and supplemented the provisions of the Constitution of 1992):

Čl. I 2. V čl. 105 ods. 1 sa na konci pripája táto veta: „Oprávnenia prezidenta podľa čl. 102 písm. f) a g) prechádzajú v tom čase na predsedu Národnej rady Slovenskej republiky.“

The amendments became effective with publication in Zbieka zákonov 5 Aug 1998 as provided in Čl. II of the same law and facilitated further re-distribution of the duties of the Head of State, including Predseda Národnej rady Slovenskej republiky (= Chairman of the National Council of the Slovak Republic) as one of those authorized to exercise some functions of Prezident Slovenskej republiky which had not been entrusted to the Government by the Constitution of 1992 (original version). The Chairman of the National Council was empowered to:

f) appoint and recall the Chairman of the Government and other members of the Government of the Slovak Republic, entrust them with the management of ministries, and accept their resignation; recall the Chairman of the Government and other members of the Government in the cases listed in Articles 115 and 116, g) appoint and recall the heads of central bodies and higher-level state officials in cases specified by law, appoint university professors and rectors, appoint and promote generals,

Starting from 5 Aug 1998, the functions of the Head of State were exercised by a) Vláda Slovenskej republiky, b) Predseda Vlády Slovenskej republiky (as restricted by the resolutions of the Government), and c) Predseda Národnej rady Slovenskej republiky.

On 27 Oct 1998 the Government passed a resolution on collective resignation which was accepted but the cabinet continued in office as required by the Constitution:

Art. 115-2:

Ak prezident Slovenskej republiky prijme demisiu vlády, poverí ju vykonávaním jej funkcie až do vymenovania novej vlády.

If the president of the Slovak Republic accepts the Government's resignation, he will entrust it with the execution of its duties until a new Government is appointed.

On 29 Oct 1998 the opening session of the second Národná rada convened and on the same day elected Jozef Migaš as its chairman to replace Ivan Gašparovič. Exercising the functions assigned to him by the Law of 14 Jul 1998 (or amended Constitution of 1992), Migaš appointed a new government chaired by Mikuláš Dzurinda.

On 14 Jan 1999 the National Council passed Ústavný zákon zo 14. januára 1999, ktorým sa mení a dopĺňa Ústava Slovenskej republiky č. 460/1992 Zb. v znení ústavného zákona č. 244/1998 Z. z. (= Constitutional law of 14 Jan 1999 with further Amendments to the Constitution of 1992):

V čl. 105 ods. 1 štvrtá veta znie: „Oprávnenia prezidenta podľa čl. 102 ods. 1 písm. e), f) a g) prechádzajú v tom čase na predsedu Národnej rady Slovenskej republiky.“

This amendment extended the functions of the Predseda Národnej rady when acting for Prezident Slovenskej republiky and authorized him to sign laws ("podpisuje zákony"). It came into effect on the date of publication ("Tento ústavný zákon nadobúda účinnosť dňom vyhlásenia") in Zbierka zákonov č. 9/1999 Čiastka 5 on 27 Jan 1999, although did not change the actual practice existing before the law is enacted: in absence of Prezident Slovenskej republiky both Predseda Národnej rady and Predseda vlády signed the laws, but this practice was incompatible with constitutional provisions as Art. 87 required that a law passed by the National Council was to be signed by three people: 1) Predseda Národnej rady, 2) Prezident Slovenskej republiky and 3) Predseda vlády Slovenskej republiky. The absence of the signature of Prezident Slovenskej republiky was considered unacceptable and this function in his/her absence was transferred to Predseda Národnej rady. The same amendment introduced direct elections of Prezident Slovenskej republiky.

On 29 May 1999 Rudolf Schuster was elected Prezident Slovenskej republiky and took office upon inauguration 15 Jun 1999. On that day Predseda Národnej rady and Vláda Slovenskej republiky ceased to exercise the functions of Head of State.

Last updated on: 14 Oct 2011 13:43:37