No MPs from Ordinary People and Independent Personalities (OĽaNO) will sign the opposition initiative to impeach President Ivan Gašparovič for violation of the Slovak constitution, the party’s leader, Igor Matovič, said on January 15, the TASR newswire reported.
Though Matovič believes that the president lied in part of his reasoning for refusing to appoint Jozef Čentéš as general prosecutor, he said that the proposed lawsuit also has problems.
“We will not act like sheep that want to be united in their views come what may ... plus it is a major problem to prove the president’s intentional wrongdoing, as even prominent lawyers differ on this,” said Matovič, as quoted by TASR.
Moreover, Matovič says that those behind the initiative are using it as a sort of marketing tool. Instead of taking Gašparovič to court, Matovič proposes a constitutional amendment whereby the president would be bound by the constitution to appoint candidates elected as general prosecutor, judges, the president of the Supreme Court and its deputy chair within a period of 60 days.
Meanwhile, Gašparovič dismissed criticism of his refusal to appoint Čentéš as general prosecutor as an attempt to fabricate a topic in order to divert the public’s attention from what he called the “failure of politicians” during the parliamentary vote to choose a candidate. The process that led to Čentéš election was completed more than 18 months ago. Gašparovič made his comments during a traditional New Year’s meeting with ambassadors and honorary consuls to Slovakia, TASR wrote on January 15.
The president said that his current aim is to tone down heightened passions among politicians and the public. In this regard, he has repeatedly called on politicians to return to “decent” political discussions and to respect “normal democratic procedures”, including respect for decisions made by the Constitutional Court.
The president maintained that his recent decision not to appoint Čentéš only confirms his “consistent and unchanging stance on the entire matter, emerging from the wording of the Slovak constitution and from a ruling of the Constitutional Court”, TASR reported.
At the beginning of January, Gašparovič cited doubts stemming from the manner in which Čentéš was elected, and pointing to the fact that Čentéš shredded testimony made by Matovič about corruption, as his reasons for rejecting him. Čentéš was elected by MPs in June 2011 in a process which the Constutional Court ruled, in October 2011, was entirely legal. In 2011, Matovič provided a statement on corruption among political parties to the Office of the General Prosecutor, but the questioning had to be repeated as the original statement was shredded by Čentéš, in his role as a prosecutor. Both Čentéš and Matovič have stated that the testimony was destroyed by mistake.
Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports
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16. Jan 2013 at 10:00