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Fico attacks selection of Court candidates

PM Robert Fico has attacked the selection process for Constitutional Court judge candidates, arguing that MPs did not have all the information they needed about the individual job applicants before making their selections on October 19 and 20.

The election of lawyer Peter Vojčík, who provided legal services before 2002 for the bankrupt pyramid schemes Horizont and BMG Invest, as the candidate of Fico's Smer party has proven a serious embarrassment to the strongest government party.

Smer plans to provide compensation to the clients of these failed schemes, and even wrote the promise in to the current government's program manifesto.

Fico said it was significant that one week after parliament named 12 more candidates for the 9 Constitutional Court positions to fall vacant in January, information surfaced to "disqualify [some candidates] as possible nominations for the post of Constitutional Court judge".

Whether or not Vojčík is actually selected to the Constitutional Court bench is now in the hands of President Ivan Gašparovič, who will choose 9 judges from the 18 candidates approved by parliament. Thus far, however, parliament has chosen only 15 candidates, and the president must therefore wait for the remaining 3 candidates before making his final selection.

According to the Sme daily, parliament's selection of Želmíra Šebová as a candidate for the Constitutional Court was also questionable.

One opposition MP called Šebová, the sister of Slovak National Party (SNS) MP Jaroslav Paška, "a completely unknown judge from a district court". Paška did not reveal that the two were related during a hearing of the candidates by the parliamentary Constitutional Law Committee two weeks ago, arguing that he had feared the attitude of MPs on the committee towards Šebová would change if they knew she was his sister.

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