THE CONSTITUTIONAL Court ruled on February 19 that the rights of Justice Sergej Kohut, who unsuccessfully ran for the position of Supreme Court chief justice, had been violated. The ruling means that the December 20 reelection of Štefan Harabin to the seat is void.
"The Judicial Council (SR) must do everything it can to make the process [of elections] objective, and so far it has not," said head of the Constitutional Court Ján Mazák.
As a member of the SR, Harabin cast a vote in the elections, while Kohut, not a member of the SR, could not. Some believe Harabin used his vote to tip the balance in his favour. The Constitutional Court ruled that the SR did not ensure equal opportunities for both candidates in the election.
President Rudolf Schuster, who appoints the boss of the Supreme Court, said he would respect the decision.
"I'm very sorry that the [newly established] council started its work in such an unfortunate manner," he added.
Harabin refused to comment on the issue, saying he was not familiar with the content of the decision. Kohut said he would have to consider whether he would run for the position again.
24. Feb 2003 at 0:00 | From press reports of TASR and SITA