Proposal for Slovak election-based TV quotas met with criticism

Matovič (OĽaNO) proposed the new law at the coalition meeting without previous discussions with relevant stakeholders or even members of his party. Chair of National Council Committee for Culture and Media Kristián Čekovský (OĽaNO) found out about the proposal from the questions of journalists.  [Shutterstock/Kollar Peter]

Setting up quotas for the participation of politicians in TV discussions based on election results, as proposed by the Former Slovak Prime Minister and current Finance Minister Igor Matovič, draws backlash from coalition partners, journalists and NGOs.

Matovič (OĽaNO) proposed the new law at the coalition meeting without previous discussions with relevant stakeholders or even members of his party. Chair of National Council Committee for Culture and Media Kristián Čekovský (OĽaNO) found out about the proposal from the questions of journalists.

The finance minister believes members of the opposition parties, such as Hlas of former Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini and Smer of Robert Fico, are called to television discussions more than the members of government and coalition National Council members. He thinks that new regulations should apply to public television RTVS and commercial channels.

The Slovak coalition is made up of four parties. Several representatives of other parties have already said they will not back such an idea.

“At the coalition meeting, I learned of Igor Matovič’s proposal, and I clearly expressed my disapproval,” Justice Minister Mária Kolíková from the SaS party has said.

“It can be said we don’t like it very much,” said Boris Kollár, head of Sme Rodina (We Are Family) party and Speaker of the National Council.

The smallest coalition party Za ľudí (For People) likened the proposal to measures in Cuba or Venezuela. Even Matovič said he does not believe a similar measure exists in any other democratic country.

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