Slovakia’s parliament rejects women’s rights treaty

BRATISLAVA, Slovakia (AP) — Slovakia’s lawmakers voted Tuesday to reject an international treaty on women’s rights.

In the 150-seat parliament, 96 of the 113 lawmakers present voted to reject the ratification of the treaty known as the Istanbul Convention.

The document was adopted by the Council of Europe in 2011 in a bid to fight violence against women throughout Europe.

The rejection was proposed by the ultra-nationalist Slovak National Party, a member of the ruling coalition with support of the senior ruling party, the leftist Smer-Social Democracy.

Their lawmakers also called on President Zuzana Caputova to inform the Council of Europe that Slovakia will stay out of the treaty.

The opposition far-right People’s Party Our Slovakia also voted against it.

Opponents of the convention in Slovakia, which is predominantly Roman Catholic, charge that some provisions would violate the Slovak Constitution — for example because the constitution defines marriage as a union of a man and a woman.

In a separate vote just days before Saturday’s parliamentary elections, the two coalition parties also voted with some others to approve legislation that gives retirees an extra monthly pension — 13 instead of 12.

The center-right opposition parties that stand a good chance to form a government condemned the move as populistic.

It wasn’t immediately clear if Caputova, the president, was ready to approve it.

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