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New vote for chief justice in May

THE JUDICIAL Council (SR) has decided that repeat elections for Supreme Court chief justice will take place on May 7.

The decision came weeks after the Constitutional Court ruled that last December's elections, in which former Supreme Court chief justice Štefan Harabin was re-elected to the post, had violated the rights of Harabin's competitor, Sergej Kohut.

Deputy chairman of the SR Jozef Hrabovský told the TASR news agency that the council, which decides personnel matters in the judiciary, had adopted all the Constitutional Court's recommendations to ensure future contestants for the top post have equal conditions in the elections.

The SR incorporated numerous changes to its working guidelines to prevent future disputes regarding the objectiveness of the elections, including an article that stipulates that if a candidate for Supreme Court chief justice is a member of the SR, he is not allowed to vote in the elections, as Harabin did in the December vote.

All candidates will be given 30 minutes to give a speech to the SR. To prevent possible political influence in the selection of the top judicial figure, the SR also decided that neither the Justice Ministry nor parliament would be entitled to nominate candidates.

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