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Constitutional Court changes its own ruling on general prosecutor vote

The Slovak Constitutional Court has overturned a provisional ruling concerning the election of the country’s general prosecutor that it made only two weeks ago. The Sme daily wrote on Wednesday, July 6, that the provisional ruling had prohibited a public vote being used to select the general prosecutor until the Constitutional Court had ruled whether this form of vote – approved by MPs – is constitutional.

The Slovak Constitutional Court has overturned a provisional ruling concerning the election of the country’s general prosecutor that it made only two weeks ago. The Sme daily wrote on Wednesday, July 6, that the provisional ruling had prohibited a public vote being used to select the general prosecutor until the Constitutional Court had ruled whether this form of vote – approved by MPs – is constitutional.

The Constitutional Court announced its change of mind in an inconspicuous report on Wednesday, June 29 that appeared only on the Aktualne.sk news website. The report stated that the court had accepted the issue for further consideration and action, without any detailed explanation. The judges of the Constitutional Court thereby cancelled their own decision before it was even published in the Code of Laws, which would have made it effective. The Slovak Parliament, in a secret vote, selected a new general prosecutor on June 17. He is Jozef Čentéš, the candidate backed by the ruling coalition. However, President Ivan Gašparovič has so far refused to appoint him and the current law does not set any deadline by which he must do so.

The president’s spokesman, Marek Trubač, said that Gašparovič was not moved by the court’s provisional ruling in his decision not to appoint Čentéš; instead, Trubač said, the president wanted to wait for a final decision in order to avoid any doubts. A hasty decision would be good neither for the president, nor for Mr. Čentéš, Trubač argued.

Constitutional lawyer Peter Kresák said the Constitutional Court’s decision was unprecedented, a view with which several politicians and legal experts concurred. The court’s spokesperson was unavailable for comment. Čentéš himself said that the finding made his selection as general prosecutor unquestionable. The final decision on the general prosecutor vote from the Constitutional Court could come in autumn or even later, Sme wrote.

Source: Sme

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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