President to appoint Constitutional Court justices this week

THE NAMES of nine new justices of the Constitutional Court will be known this week, Slovak President Ivan Gašparovič has said. Until then, however, Gašparovič refused to comment on the names he was considering for the vacant posts as he did not want to “cause nervousness among the candidates” that were put forward by the Slovak parliament. On February 1, Speaker of Parliament Pavol Paška handed Gasparovič a list of 18 candidates elected by parliament. The names include Tibor Šafárik, Ľudmila Gajdošíková, Lajos Mészaros, Sergej Kohút, Alexander Fuchs, Peter Vojčík, Ladislav Orosz, Peter Brňák, Marianna Mochnáčová, Miloslava Čutková, Štefan Harabin, Milan Lalík, Želmíra Šebová, Mária Trubanová and Rudolf Tkáčik. One of the selected candidates, Dana Ličková, has withdrawn her candidacy. The normally 13-strong Constitutional Court has been working with a skeleton staff since January 22 with only 4 judges after the 7-year mandate of 6 Constitutional Court justices ended on that day. Moreover, a number of judges also left the institution for other posts. Following legislative changes, the new justices will be named for a 12 year period. Most of the candidates were picked by the parties of the ruling coalition, raising fears that the court will reflect the views of the coalition in interpreting the Constitution for more than a decade.

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