President Andrej Kiska received state awards only on July 3, although he should have received them already during his inauguration on June 15.

“The President of the Slovak Republic is entitled to the top ranks of all state awards, except for the Order of the White Double-Cross and the Medal of the President of the Slovak Republic,” the SITA newswire quoted the Act on Slovak Awards. “The Chair of the Slovak Constitutional Court will hand over the top ranks of all state awards the president is entitled to after the latter has taken on the position of president.”

Law was violated by the postponed awarding, expert on protocol Jarolím Antal told SITA, adding that the chair of CC, Ivetta Macejková should have told Kiska that he is entitled the symbolic awards from his inauguration until his death. “The law was violated, but it is good they remedied the situation; otherwise, the awards would not belong to him,” Antal summed up.

During the meeting, Kiska gave Macejková a letter confirming for her that he has no reservations of bias towards Constitutional Court judges in complaints and moves of Jozef Čentéš, the president’s advisor Rado Baťo told the TASR newswire. When acquiring his position, Kiska became the person to represent the party in this trial. Kiska said that he did not identify with the reservations of bias announced by his predecessor, Ivan Gašparovič.

[The Constitutional Court (CC) on July 29, 2013 and adopted the first verdict concerning the case of elected but never appointed candidate for prosecutor general, Jozef Čentéš. The CC panel consisting of Rudolf Tkáčik, Ľudmila Gajdošíková and Iveta Macejková decided that justices Ján Auxt and Ľubomír Dobrík are not excluded from further decision-making in his case.]

The CC had been blocked from meeting by parliament in recent weeks. Čentéš had contested the two justices citing bias and their close relationship with President Ivan Gašparovič, who had refused to appoint Čentéš, the Sme daily wrote then. In the past, justices excused themselves from the panel deciding on a similar matter concerning Čentéš, citing potential bias. The court did not specify the reasons for this step on its website. Auxt and Dobrík were to rule on the objection filed by Gašparovič in February 2013. A week later, Čentéš filed an objection of bias concerning Auxt and Dobrík, TASR wrote. The case has been deadlocked since.

Čentéš was elected for the post of general prosecutor in June 2011. However, Gašparovič declined to formally appoint him, citing various CC cases that had been brought relating to Čentéš’ election. In October 2011, the CC ruled that both secret and open ballots were legitimate means for parliament to elect the general prosecutor (the secret ballot was the reason cited for Čentéš not being appointed, although he was finally elected in an open vote). Finally, in late 2012, the CC ruled that the president has the right to refuse to appoint parliament’s choice of general prosecutor, but that he must cite good reasons for doing so. At the end of 2012, Gašparovič sent a letter to the parliament speaker formally rejecting Čentéš. Čentéš promptly appealed this decision to the CC, but the case became bogged down as between Čentéš and Gašparovič the two challenged 12 of the court’s 13 judges on grounds of alleged bias.

Kiska said that he would welcome the Constitutional Court to rule in the case as soon as possible.

(Source: SITA, TASR, Sme)
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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