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Fico calls election of prosecutor general a black day in Slovakia's history

Head of the parliamentary opposition Robert Fico of Smer described the election of Jozef Čentéš as prosecutor general in Parliament on June 17 as a black day in Slovakia's history.

Head of the parliamentary opposition Robert Fico of Smer described the election of Jozef Čentéš as prosecutor general in Parliament on June 17 as a black day in Slovakia's history.

"This day can be compared to the Night of the Long Knives on November 3, 1994," said Fico as quoted by newswire TASR in reference to when Vladimír Mečiar's Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS) usurped power in all parliamentary committees.

According to Fico, Čentéš will serve the interests of the ruling coalition and annihilate the independence of the Prosecutor General's Office. Smer will do everything possible to make sure that the prosecutor general is elected in a secret vote, restoring the independence of the Prosecutor General's Office, said the Smer chairman.

Fico announced that shortly before the parliamentary vote - which was boycotted by the opposition - he spoke to Čentéš and asked him whether he is ready to bear all the risks concerning the vote.

"I sensed that the Coalition has ordered him what to do and how to do it," said Fico, according to TASR.

According to the official results of the secret election in Parliament on June 17, Čentéš was elected as the new prosecutor-general, receiving 79 votes from the 80 lawmakers present.

The opposition did not take part in the vote. In order to take up the post, Čentéš has to be officially appointed by Gašparovič. He has indicated, however, that he will not do so before the Constitutional Court takes up a final stance on whether prosecutor general elections can be public - as allowed by the new Rules of Procedure approved in Parliament last month - or must be secret as in the past, TASR reported.

Fico however said that the special parliamentary session with the election on the agenda should never have taken place at all, and described it as a mockery of the Constitutional Court. The Court on June 15 suspended public prosecutor general elections before it makes a final decision on the matter.

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