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Parliament agrees on public vote to select general prosecutor

Parliament on Tuesday, April 5, changed the method used to select Slovakia’s general prosecutor from a secret vote into a public (or recorded) vote, after coalition MPs approved an amendment to parliament’s rules of procedure despite fierce protests from the opposition Smer party, the TASR newswire learnt. A total of 79 lawmakers out of all 150 present backed the bill, which also introduces public votes to select judges for the Constitutional Court as well as the chair and vice-chairs of the Supreme Audit Office (NKÚ).

Parliament on Tuesday, April 5, changed the method used to select Slovakia’s general prosecutor from a secret vote into a public (or recorded) vote, after coalition MPs approved an amendment to parliament’s rules of procedure despite fierce protests from the opposition Smer party, the TASR newswire learnt. A total of 79 lawmakers out of all 150 present backed the bill, which also introduces public votes to select judges for the Constitutional Court as well as the chair and vice-chairs of the Supreme Audit Office (NKÚ).

Secret ballots will continue to be used to select and recall the speaker and deputy speakers of parliament as well as the heads of the parliamentary committees. The amendment also introduced the option for MPs to hold a secret vote on other posts for which a public ballot would otherwise be held. At least 15 legislators are required to propose a secret vote.

Whenever a public vote is held on personnel issues, the procedure will be carried out using technical voting equipment. The names of candidates will be presented in alphabetical order, with MPs expressing their support as the name of each candidate is presented. Whichever contender receives a simple majority of votes from the MPs present will be selected.

The coalition parties decided to make the general prosecutor selection ballot public after no candidate was elected in several attempts using the secret ballot method late last year. In the final attempt, several coalition MPs failed to vote for joint coalition nominee Jozef Čentéš, backing opposition candidate and incumbent general prosecutor Dobroslav Trnka instead. Meanwhile, the coalition has announced that it will again nominate Čentéš for the post.

Source: TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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