President of the Slovak Republic
Prezident Slovenskej republiky
Presidential standard
Incumbent
Peter Pellegrini
since 15 June 2024
ResidenceGrassalkovich Palace,
Old Town, Bratislava
AppointerPopular vote
Term lengthFive years
renewable once, consecutively
Inaugural holderMichal Kováč
2 March 1993
FormationConstitution of Slovakia
SuccessionLine of succession
Salaryc. 204,000 per annum[1]
(2024)
Pension for former presidents:
c. 48,000 per annum[2] (2024)
WebsitePresident of the Slovak Republic

The president of the Slovak Republic (Slovak: Prezident Slovenskej republiky) is the head of state of Slovakia and the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces. The people directly elect the president for five years, for a maximum of two consecutive terms. The presidency is essentially a ceremonial office, but the president does exercise certain limited powers with absolute discretion. The president's official residence is the Grassalkovich Palace in Bratislava.

History of the office

The office was established by the constitution of Slovakia on 1 January 1993 when Slovakia permanently split from Czechoslovakia and became independent. The office was vacant until 2 March 1993, when the first president Michal Kováč was elected by the National Council of Slovak Republic. However, in 1998, the National Council could not elect a successor to Kováč. As a result, the position was vacant for half a year after Kováč's term ended in March 1998. The duties and powers of the office devolved upon the then-prime minister and speaker of the National Council. To resolve the issue, the constitution was changed to provide for the popular election of the president. Presidential elections have been held in 1999, 2004, 2009, 2014, 2019 and 2024.

The current President is Peter Pellegrini, who took office on 15 June 2024.

Role and powers

Grassalkovich Palace, seat of the president of Slovakia

The president of Slovakia has a limited role in policy-making, as the office is largely ceremonial within the framework of a parliamentary republic. According to the constitution, the president is the supreme representative of the state both in Slovakia and abroad.[3]

The president represents the Slovak Republic externally and concludes and ratifies international treaties. The president may delegate to the government or, with the government's consent, to individual members of the Slovak Republic, the conclusion of international treaties.[3] Historically, all Slovak presidents delegated this power to the government. Technically, it is officially done[clarification needed] by Decision of President No. 250/2001 Coll. (which superseded Decision of President No. 205/1993 Coll.), which is still in effect.[4]

Among the president's constitutional powers are nominating and appointing the prime minister. The constitution does not limit the president's choice; through their decisions, the president ensures the due performance of constitutional bodies.[clarification needed] Because the government of whoever is appointed prime minister must receive a vote of confidence in parliament, the president usually appoints the winning party or coalition leader in parliamentary elections.

The president has sole discretion to appoint three members of the judicial council, one member of the Budget Council, and two members of the council of the Nation's Memory Institute; to award distinctions[clarification needed], to appoint the president and vice-president of the Constitutional Court of the Slovak Republic (from among the Constitutional Court judges), and to grant pardon or parole.[3]

The president can also veto any bill or proposal by the National Council, except for constitutional amendments.[3] This veto can be overridden if the National Council passes the same bill again with a majority of all council members, so this power is considered relatively weak.

Honour Guard of the President

The president is formally the commander-in-chief of the Slovak armed forces, but this role is ceremonial because by the constitution when the president acts as the commander-in-chief, their decision is valid only after it is signed by the prime minister or a minister authorized by the prime minister. In such cases, the government is responsible for the president's decision.[clarification needed] The same applies to grants of amnesty and appointments of chiefs of diplomatic missions.[3]

Among their other constitutional duties are signing bills into law, appointing ministers on the prime minister's recommendation, and appointing various other state officials, such as generals, professors, judges, rectors, and prosecutors.[3]

The president has discretionary power over the appointments of some officials. For example, there have been cases when the president has refused to appoint vice-governors of the National Bank of Slovakia recommended by the government. These actions of the president were confirmed by the Constitutional Court.[5]

In many cases, the appointment of state officials is regulated by other laws. For example, the president's power to appoint constitutional judges is limited to selection from nominees voted by the National Council, from which the president has to appoint half. The appointment or recall of judges is determined by decisions of the Judicial Council, which submits its proposals to the president.

Presidential powers are substantially increased in special circumstances when the National Council passes a vote of no confidence in the government.[3] In such a case, many executive powers of government (e.g., appointment of officials, foreign trips, signing treaties) are subject to the president's approval, and the president can appoint the government without being subject to the parliament's approval.[6]

Succession

In the case when the president is unable to perform their duties or if the presidency becomes vacant for any reason, the speaker of the National Council and the Government, led by the prime minister, jointly perform the duties of the president.

List of Presidents of Slovakia

See also: List of presidents of Czechoslovakia

Slovak Republic (1993–present)

No. Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Term of office Party[a] Election
Took office Left office Duration
1 Michal Kováč
(1930–2016)
2 March
1993
2 March
1998
5 years HZDS 1993
1998 Slovak presidential election
Acting Presidents: Vladimír Mečiar and Ivan Gašparovič (1998 - 1999), later Mikuláš Dzurinda and Jozef Migaš (1999)
2 Rudolf Schuster
(born 1934)
15 June
1999
15 June
2004
5 years SOP 1999
3 Ivan Gašparovič
(born 1941)
15 June
2004
15 June
2014
10 years HZD 2004
None 2009
4 Andrej Kiska
(born 1963)
15 June
2014
15 June
2019
5 years None 2014
5 Zuzana Čaputová
(born 1973)
15 June
2019
15 June
2024
5 years PS 2019
6 Peter Pellegrini
(Born 1975)
15 June
2024
Incumbent 25 days Hlas 2024

Timeline

Zuzana ČaputováAndrej KiskaIvan GašparovičRudolf SchusterMichal Kováč

Acting presidents

Name Term
Vladimír Mečiar
Ivan Gašparovič
2 March 1998 – 30 October 1998
14 July 1998 – 30 October 1998
Mikuláš Dzurinda
Jozef Migaš
30 October 1998 – 15 June 1999

Latest election

Main article: 2024 Slovak presidential election

CandidatePartyFirst roundSecond round
Votes%Votes%
Ivan KorčokIndependent958,39342.521,243,70946.88
Peter PellegriniVoice – Social Democracy834,71837.031,409,25553.12
Štefan HarabinIndependent264,57911.74
Krisztián ForróHungarian Alliance65,5882.91
Igor MatovičSlovakia49,2012.18
Ján KubišIndependent45,9572.04
Patrik DubovskýFor the People16,1070.71
Marian KotlebaKotlebists – People's Party Our Slovakia12,7710.57
Milan Náhlik [sk]Independent3,1110.14
Andrej Danko[b]Slovak National Party1,9050.08
Róbert Švec[b]Slovak Revival Movement [sk]1,8760.08
Total2,254,206100.002,652,964100.00
Valid votes2,254,20699.532,652,96499.35
Invalid/blank votes10,5630.4717,2330.65
Total votes2,264,769100.002,670,197100.00
Registered voters/turnout4,364,07151.904,368,69761.12
Source: First Round, Second Round

See also

Notes

  1. ^ All presidents since 1993 have resigned their political affiliation after taking office. The parties listed represent those that presidents have been elected as representatives of.
  2. ^ a b Candidate withdrew in favour of Harabin, but was still on the ballot.

References

  1. ^ "[1]." Radio and Television of Slovakia. Retrieved on April 7, 2024. "Prezident má z ústavných činiteľov najvyšší plat."
  2. ^ "[2]." Radio and Television of Slovakia. Retrieved on April 7, 2024. "Prezident má z ústavných činiteľov najvyšší plat."
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "Constitution of the Slovak Republic". Constitutional Court of the Slovak Republic. Retrieved 7 August 2019.
  4. ^ "250/2001 Z. z." Slov-Lex. Ministry of Justice of the Slovak Republic. Retrieved 7 August 2019.
  5. ^ "PL. ÚS 14/06". CODICES. Retrieved 7 August 2019.
  6. ^ Slovakian president picks technocrat government after prime minister quits, Reuters, May 7, 2023