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The Government and Political System in Slovakia

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Slovakia is a democratic republic. It is a parliamentary, multi-party system. The government is divided into 3 branches, the executive, legislative and judicial branch.

The President is the head of state and is elected by direct, popular vote using a two round system for a five year term. The executive head however, has very limited powers. Most executive power lies with the prime minister who is appointed by the president and who is usually the leader of the majority party or coalition. Ministers or members of the cabinet are also appointed by the president based on the recommendation of the prime minister.

The National Council of the Slovak Republic occupies the legislative branch. It is a unicameral body composed of one hundred fifty seats. Members are elected based on proportional representation and serves for a 4-year term. This body concerns itself with the constitution and its statutes and other legal acts. They also approve all important international treaties before ratification.

The Constitutional Court of Slovakia is the highest body of the judicial branch. The thirteen seats of the court are filled in by presidential appointment from a list of candidates nominated by parliament. As the name implies they issue rulings on constitutional issues. The Supreme Court is the highest appellate forum of the country. Under these two are the regional, district and military courts. In 2002, a judicial council was created by parliament. It is composed of eighteen members who are either judges, law professors or other legal experts. Its purpose is to nominate judges except for the constitutional court and also to appoint disciplinary senates for probing judicial misconducts.

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