Slovakian parliament overrides President Kiska’s veto on land expropriation changes

The parliament outvoted after midnight on Thursday the veto of President Andrej Kiska on the legislation designed to enable the state to start certain construction works on land on which future highways and other roads are to be built even before it is expropriated, local TA3 TV reported. Altogether 81 legislators voted for re-approval of the bill (82 MPs voted in favour of the bill the first time), while 45 MPs (52 in the first vote) were against. Note that under the amended legislation, a new legal institution of ‘preliminary possession’ would enable certain reversible pieces of work on land to be carried out to the extent deemed necessary before the time-consuming expropriation process is concluded. The amendment resulted from the fact that problems with buying plots of land where the future Bratislava bypass is due to be built have emerged – speculators have demanded excessive price for their plots, which represent only 0.5% of the needed land for the bypass construction. In his decision to veto the legislation Kiska argued that the reasoning of the law is inappropriate and unsustainable, while the law itself — interference with fundamental right to own a property. He also objected the fact that the bill was passed at fast-track procedure. During the late-Thursday debate the legislators rejecting the bill raised objections similar to those of Kiska – that the law runs contrary to the Constitution and would probably end up in the Constitutional Court, that the government has been pushing legislative changes for covering up the mistakes of the National Highway Company and the transport ministry in the process of preparing and carrying out a specific construction project. Opposing legislators also complained that the law is re-approved so fast without them having the opportunity to get acquainted with Kiska’s reasoning for his veto in detail. Now that the parliament has overridden Kiska, the new law is to enter into force from the date it is promulgated in the Official Gazette.

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