MORE THAN 11,000 people signed a petition stating they do not want Štefan Harabin to continue as the head of the judiciary for another term. The activists who initiated the petition passed it on to the members of the Judicial Council, which convened on May 19 in the eastern Slovak town of Sobrance to elect the new Judicial Council head.

Gábor Grendel from the Nova party, who heads the petition committee, submitted the petition to Štefan Harabin before the council session opened.

The petition, initiated by people from the Nova party and entitled ‘We don’t want to be ashamed of the judiciary’, calls on the Judicial Council to stop the destruction of the judiciary and prevent Harabin from getting re-elected into the dual post of the Judicial Council chair and the Supreme Court president. The petition was signed by a number of VIPs, including former prime minister Iveta Radičová, actors Zuzana Kronerová, Anna Šišková, Lukáš Latinák, Alexander Bárta, Tomáš Maštalír, Henrieta Mičkovicová, Petra Polnišová, Richard Stanke, Szidi Tobias, Ľuboš Kostelný, Matej Landl, Juraj Kemka, Robert Roth and others, the SITA newswire reported.

The activists began collecting the signatures about a month ago, when Harabin announced that he would run for re-election.

The session, held in Sobranovce's local House of Culture, attracted a gathering of some 50 people, including civic activists who demand a change in the judiciary's state of affairs, the TASR newswire reported.

"Ensuring the rule of law in Slovakia is quite a problem. Some illegal practices are organised with knowledge beforehand that the perpetrators are untouchable," said activist Andrej Lúčny, as quoted by TASR. "Not even the best system can yield good results if the individual nominations are bad."

Eventually, neither Harabin nor his challengers, Jana Bajánková and Zuzana Ďurišová, were elected. The Judicial Council now has to convene a new session within 120 days to repeat the election. The failed candidates are no longer allowed to run.

Source: Sme, SITA, TASR

Compiled by Michaela Terenzani from press reports.
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information
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