A plenary session of the Slovak Constitutional Court has ruled that parliamentary votes to select the general prosecutor and some other public officials can in the future be publicly recorded rather than secret, as was previously the case.
The ruling, announced on Wednesday, October 5, marks the court’s rejection of a case filed by acting general prosecutor Ladislav Tichý and 35 opposition Smer MPs. They contested parliament’s decision earlier this year to amend the law in order to change secret ballots to open votes. The ruling concerns votes to select the general prosecutor, the chair and vice-chair of the Supreme Court, Constitutional Court justices and the head and members of the National Property Fund (FNM).
In practice, it means that either a secret ballot or an open one can be used to elect these public officials, as under certain circumstances a secret ballot is still possible.
“The Constitutional Court saw no reason to submit the principle of the secret ballot to a constitutional examination,” court chairperson Ivetta Macejková stated in the reasoning for the courts’ ruling, as quoted by the TASR newswire.
The ruling coalition welcomed the decision and called on Slovak President Ivan Gašparovič to formally appoint Jozef Čentéš as general prosecutor, TASR reported, citing Most-Híd party leader Béla Bugár. Čentéš was selected by MPs in a secret vote on June 17, but Gašparovič has since refused to appoint him, citing the case before the Constitutional Court as a reason.
To read more about the protracted efforts to select a new general prosecutor, see: Drama around top prosecutor continues.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
5. Oct 2011 at 14:00