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Three judges candidates for Supreme Court head

THREE judges - Ida Hanzelová, Štefan Minárik, and Harald Stiffel - have been nominated for the post of Supreme Court chief justice, to be elected for a five-year term in a two-round election later in June.

The wife of the current Attorney General, Ida Hanzelová, was nominated by the Association of Slovak Judges (ZSS), the regional judicial councils of Žilina, Banská Bystrica, and the Trenčín-based Supreme Military Court. She is also supported by around 24 judges of the Supreme Court.

The second candidate, Štefan Minárik, was nominated by the Union of Independent Judiciary, which earlier nominated former Supreme Court chief justice Štefan Harabin.

Stiffel was nominated by 13 Supreme Court judges. Unlike his rivals, Stiffel has never been a member of the Communist Party. He is considered to be an expert on Slovakia's criminal code.

Štefan Harabin ended his term in office in February this year. So far, all previous attempts to elect a new Supreme Court chief justice have failed, due either to suspected irregularities or to a failure on the part of the candidates to gain enough support.

Elections will take place at 45-day intervals until a suitable candidate is elected by members.

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