AS THE deadline for submitting candidates expired on midnight April 28, there were three candidates for the post of the Supreme Court president, currently held by Judge Štefan Harabin.

Apart from Harabin himself and Judge Zuzana Ďurišová, one of his major critics, Jana Bajánková, will also run in the May 19 election as the candidate proposed by Justice Minister Tomáš Borec.

Borec claims Bajánková is an experienced judge with the necessary managerial skills. He admitted to also having approached judges from the For Open Justice association, Elena Berthotyová and Miroslav Gavalec, as well as former Supreme Court president Milan Karabín and Judge Jana Baričová.

“Each of them considered the offer, but in the end I received negative answers,” Borec said, as quoted by TASR. The Sme daily reported that the judges turned down the offer because the association is united in backing its candidate, Ďurišová.

Bajánková is believed to be a close collaborator of Harabin at the Supreme Court, according to Sme. She is the head of the civil administration college and a member of the Judicial Council.

"I view it as an advantage that Bajánková will be able to communicate with all Supreme Court judges in a normal, professional manner," said Borec.

Bajánková has also received the support of three members of the Judicial Council, the body that elects the Supreme Court president, which gives her an advantage over her two competitors, Sme wrote.

Earlier in the day, the Slovak Judges’ Association confirmed that they consider Harabin their candidate in the vote, as approved by the Association’s nationwide council.

"Judges in general believe that he's an individual who has demonstrated certain resolute stances," said the Association’s head Dana Bystrianska, as quoted by TASR, adding that no other candidate was proposed.

Meanwhile, Harabin admitted that he might withdraw from the race, Sme wrote.

“I can imagine that under certain circumstances I would endorse the younger of the two candidates,” Harabin said as quoted by Sme, referring to Bajánková.

Source: TASR, Sme

Compiled by Michaela Terenzani from press reports.
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information
presented in its Flash News postings.