JURAJ Sopoliga, a judge of the Košice Regional Court, is the sixth and final candidate for one of three posts at the Constitutional Court (CC) that will be vacated in July. Five nominees were already elected in April.

The April ballot has been criticised by watchdogs who were complaining that some of the elected candidates lack any previous experience with the constitutional law.

Sopoliga, nominee of president of the Slovak Association of Judges (ZSS) Dana Bystrianska, was supported by 73 of 118 MPs present in the parliament. Twenty-six were against and eight abstained from the vote. His rivals, constitutional lawyer and university teacher Ján Drgonec and barrister Pavol Malich received only 14 and 12 votes respectively, the TASR newswire reported on May 15.

While Drgonec was nominated by Jaroslav Ivor, dean of the Faculty of Law of the Pan-European University in Bratislava, Malich was proposed by Ján Figeľ, chairman of the Christian Democratic Movement (KDH).

Parliament has already selected five nominees for the CC judge post on April 3: Supreme Court judge Jana Baricová, Nitra Regional Court judge Ján Bernát, notary and university teacher Miroslav Duriš, Bratislava District Court chair Eva Fulcová, and Košice Regional Court chairman Imrich Volkai.

A legal ethics watchdog Via Iuris wrote in a release issued shortly after the ballot that Smer deputies failed to elect acknowledged experts in protection of constitutional rights with exceptional knowledge in constitutional law, as reported by the Sme daily. It referred to some of the candidates, like law expert Peter Kresák, or former CC president Ján Mazák.

Of the six candidates, the president will pick three who will substitute Ján Luby, Juraj Horváth and Ján Auxt, whose 12-year tenure expires on July 4.

Source: TASR

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports

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