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Opposition signs proposal against president, public protest slated for Thursday
17 Jan 2013 Flash News
The opposition signed a proposal on Wednesday, January 16, to pursue legal action against President Ivan Gašparovič over what it sees as a purposeful violation of the Slovak Constitution by not appointing general-prosecutor elect Jozef Čentéš to the post. The proposal sponsored by Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) and signed also by Christian Democratic Movement (KDH), Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ), Most-Híd and some Ordinary People and Independent Personalities (OĽaNO) MPs will be submitted to the Parliament on Thursday.
[At the beginning of January, Gašparovič cited doubts stemming from the manner in which Čentéš was elected, and pointing to the fact that Čentéš shredded testimony made by Matovič about corruption, as his reasons for rejecting him. Čentéš was elected by MPs in June 2011 in a process which the Constitutional Court ruled, in October 2011, was entirely legal. Ed. note]
According to SaS MP Martin Poliačik, Gašparovič violated the constitution on two counts: by taking an inappropriate time to make a decision and to base the aforementioned decision on factors surrounding the vote on the general-prosecutor and not the candidate himself. "And he also cited a professional mistake, which, however, led to no disciplinary proceedings, and not even prosecutors themselves consider it to be so serious as to become grounds for refusing to appoint the candidate as general-prosecutor," claimed Poliačik as quoted by the TASR newswire.
If parliament were to pass the proposal by 90 votes, the motion would be forwarded to the Constitutional Court. If the court arrives at the same decision as parliament, the president would be impeached. The ruling Smer party, whose votes are needed for the motion to pass the first stage of the process, has already stated that it will back Gašparovič, however. Speaker of Parliament Pavol Paška said earlier on Wednesday that the whole issue is beyond comprehension and besmirches the standing of the president. "We'll turn this down. The procedure is clear," Paška said.
Some 600 people have announced via a social network website that they will attend the public protest gathering, set to take place in front of the presidential palace on Thursday, January 17. The aim of the gathering is to call upon Gašparovič to resign, TASR wrote. Also, protesters want to support the petition to pursue legal action against the President over his decision not to appoint Čentéš as general prosecutor. Thursday's gathering is due to begin at 18:00 and expected to last for approximately an hour.
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