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Smer MPs blocked special session on Čentéš

A special parliamentary session set to deal with the situation surrounding the president's decision not to appoint the general-prosecutor elect Jozef Čentéš ended after only a few minutes on Wednesday, January 16, as Smer MPs did not vote for the item to be included in parliament's agenda.

A special parliamentary session set to deal with the situation surrounding the president's decision not to appoint the general-prosecutor elect Jozef Čentéš ended after only a few minutes on Wednesday, January 16, as Smer MPs did not vote for the item to be included in parliament's agenda.

Only 59 out of 134 lawmakers present in the chamber voted in favour of the special session. All the opposition MPs, except for Ordinary People and Independent Personalities (OĽaNO) MP Mária Rítomská, who abstained, voted in favour of holding the session. This prompted OĽaNO chairman Igor Matovič to take to the dais, the TASR newswire wrote. With the aid of a megaphone, he criticised the move of the ruling Smer party and demanded that his own protest session be called.

The aborted special session was initiated by opposition parties Christian Democratic Movement (KDH), Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ), Most-Híd and Freedom and Solidarity (SaS). The parties stated that they would like to see President Ivan Gašparovič appear at the session in person and present the reasons for his refusal to appoint duly elected Čentéš as general prosecutor. The president decided not to address the lawmakers at Wednesday's special session, however. Gašparovič's spokesperson Marek Trubač informed last week that the president is considering addressing parliament at an ordinary session, instead. Gašparovič will come to parliament whenever he considers it appropriate. "I'm not a prime minister or a cabinet minister whose presence parliament can be demanded at Question Time. I am in a position where the constitution says that if I want to come to parliament I can do so. I will come when I want to," he said on Wednesday as quoted by the SITA newswire.

The four parties decided to take the issue a step further and are bracing for a Constitutional Court lawsuit against Gašparovič over alleged intentional violation of the constitution, TASR wrote.

[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 provided by Matovič about corruption, as his reasons for rejecting him. Čentéš was elected by MPs in June 2011 in a process which the Constitutional Court ruled, in October 2011, was entirely legal. Ed. note]

Smer admitted on Wednesday that it does not have a candidate for the post of prosecutor general whom it could submit for the Friday election that has been therefore delayed until later. The Sme daily wrote that Bratislava regional prosecutor Jaromir Čižnár told head of the parliamentary constitutional and judicial committee Róbert Madej (Smer) that he does not agree with his candidacy. He said he would not consider running until the Constitutional Court decides on Čentéš's complaint. Čentéš demands that the court suspend the election. Smer will therefore wait for the verdict which, however, cannot be expected by Friday. Then it will announce a new election. The opposition will not put up its candidate for Friday either, as it regards Čentéš legitimately elected. Ex-general prosecutor Dobroslav Trnka told the news-only TV channel TA3 that if asked he would run for the post.

(Source: TASR, SITA, Sme, TA3)
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

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