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World

Slovakia parliament changes constitution to enable snap vote

BRATISLAVA, Slovakia (AP) — Slovakia’s parliament amended the country’s constitution Wednesday to make it possible to hold early elections.

Ninety-two lawmakers voted in favor of an amendment that allows a snap vote if it is approved by a three-fifths majority in the 150-seat National Council of the Slovak Republic. The Constitution of Slovakia previously did not allow for an early election.

After the coalition government led by Prime Minister Eduard Heger lost a no-confidence vote in parliament in December, President Zuzana Caputova gave lawmakers an end of January deadline to make the needed constitutional changes.

The opposition called the no-confidence vote following months of political crisis. Caputova asked Heger’s Cabinet to stay in office with reduced powers as a caretaker government.

The president had said she would select a new prime minister and swear in their government if lawmakers did not meet the Jan. 31 deadline.

The National Council is scheduled Thursday to start debating a possible general election date. The parties in the outgoing coalition government said they would prefer Sept 30, while the opposition wants the election held earlier, possibly in June or May.

The opposition would stand a good chance to win a snap ballot, recent polls suggested.

Slovakia’s next regularly scheduled parliamentary election is not until February 2024.

The Associated Press