THE FAIR-Play Alliance (AFP) transparency watchdog launched a civil internet campaign on May 12 calling on Prime Minister Robert Fico to prevent Štefan Harabin and other candidates with similar views from being elected as Supreme Court president and Judicial Council chair. The AFP noted that Harabin cannot be elected without the votes of Smer nominees in the Judicial Council, the TASR newswire reported.

“Mr premier, use now the weight of your authority, your indisputable political experience and the power of your mandate from voters,” reads the open letter, which the AFP plans to give Fico at the May 14 cabinet session, as quoted by the SITA newswire. The PM should act to free the judiciary from the influence of Harabin or other people with similar ethical values or perceptions of the judiciary, according to the letter.

Among the letter’s signatories are journalists Tom Nicholson and Martin M. Šimečka, actors Zuzana Kronerová, Lukáš Latinák and Boris Farkaš, lawyer Jozef Vozár, pastor Daniel Pastirčák, writer Tomáš Janovic and others.

According to Nicholson, Harabin is “a relic from the Mečiarism era [in reference to three-time former prime minister Vladimír Mečiar – ed.note] and evidence that many things still need to be put right in Slovakia in order to make it into a standard and functioning society”, as reported by TASR.

“Slovakia has become one of the least-trustworthy countries in the European Union when it comes to the judiciary,” said AFP programme director Zuzana Wienk, as quoted by TASR, recalling that Harabin has verbally abused his critics, made telephone calls with a representative of the Albanian drug mafia and intervened against anti-corruption measures.

Wienk added that she is also sceptical about Justice Minister Tomáš Borec’s candidate Jana Bajánková, who does not appear willing to make any changes in the judiciary. Harabin himself recently described Bajánková as a friend of his in an interview with the Sme daily.

Source: TASR, SITA

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports

The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.