Government Of Slovakia
Slovakia operates under a representative democracy, which means the general public elects individuals to represent their interests in government. Additionally, the government of Slovakia is carried out by a parliamentary, multi-party system that is headed by both a President and a Prime Minister. In order to achieve separation of powers, government responsibilities are divided into three branches: executive, legislative, and judicial. This article takes a closer look at each one.
Executive Branch Of The Government Of Slovakia
The executive branch is formally headed by the President, who acts as the Head of State. The person in this position is elected by the general population to serve a 5-year term with a limit of 2 consecutive terms. The President is responsible for appointing the Prime Minister, 3 Constitutional Court judges, and 3 Judicial Council members. Additionally, this position is the Commander-in-Chief of the military and may veto any bill passed by the National Council, which is the parliamentary body. Perhaps the most significant power of the President is as a ceremonial representative of the country.
The Prime Minister of Slovakia acts as the Head of Government and is in charge of the Cabinet of Ministers, who are appointed by the President based on the recommendation by the Prime Minister. The person in this position must ensure that each Ministry is carrying out the regulations and legislation set forth by the National Council. Additionally, the Prime Minister must answer to this legislative branch.
Legislative Branch Of The Government Of Slovakia
The legislative branch of government is made up of the National Council, which is a unicameral parliamentary body. It consists of 150 members, who are elected by the general population to serve a 4-year term. Candidates are selected based on proportional representation The National Council writes constitutional laws, domestic policies, and creates the national budget. The President requires National Council approval in order to take military action and amend international agreements. Members of the National Council also elect the Justice of the Constitutional Court and the Prosecutor General of the country.
Currently, the largest political representation in this branch of government is held by the Direction - Social Democracy party, which has 49 seats. This is followed by the Freedom and Solidarity party (20 seats), Ol’aNO - New Majority (17 seats), Slovak National Party (15 seats), and Most-Hid (15 seats).
Judicial Branch Of The Government Of Slovakia
The judicial branch of Slovakia consists of two principal courts: the Supreme Court and the Constitutional Court. The Supreme Court is the highest appellate court in the country and its judges are selected and appointed by the National Council. Below the Supreme Court are the regional, district, and military courts.
The Constitutional Court of Slovakia decides whether or not the laws and regulations that are implemented by all level of government (including regional and district) comply with the country’s Constitution. Additionally, the judges of this court may oversee cases of disagreement between state administrative departments. Decisions concerning election results, referendum results, and complaints against state actions may also be seen by judges of the Constitutional Court. It is the only judicial body in the nation that may sue the President. Thirteen judges serve on this court for a term of 12 years. The President selects the judges from a pool of 26 candidates.
In 2002, the National Council approved a Judicial Council, which is responsible for nominating court judges. It is made up of 18 members, who are legal experts, law professors, and judges.