NEWS IN SHORT

No instruction to MPs on GP vote

THE SCHEDULED parliamentary vote in May to elect a new prosecutor general will be by secret ballot and MPs from the governing coalition will receive no instructions on how they should vote, Prime Minister Iveta Radičová said on May 3, the SITA newswire reported.

THE SCHEDULED parliamentary vote in May to elect a new prosecutor general will be by secret ballot and MPs from the governing coalition will receive no instructions on how they should vote, Prime Minister Iveta Radičová said on May 3, the SITA newswire reported.

The vote will conducted in compliance with a recent ruling by Slovakia’s Constitutional Court which found that two such votes in December last year were unconstitutional because the rules of the secret ballot were violated.

The repeat vote is expected to be held on the first day of parliament’s upcoming session, May 18. The joint candidate of the governing coalition parties is Jozef Čentéš, who will stand against the previous general prosecutor, Dobroslav Trnka. Radičová has stated that if Trnka is approved by parliament she will resign as prime minister.

In a secret ballot in December, Trnka came within one vote of staying in his post, which then expired in February. Because some MPs from the governing coalition were concerned that Trnka might be re-elected in the secret ballot they took photos of their ballot papers and published them to prove they had not voted for Trnka.

The ruling coalition passed a bill to change parliament’s standing orders to allow for a public, recorded vote to elect the prosecutor general. President Ivan Gašparovič vetoed the legislation and returned it to parliament. Nevertheless, the Constitutional Court’s ruling means a secret ballot will be used in the upcoming vote.


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