Committee disagrees over impeachment process against president

The parliamentary constitutional committee at a session on Monday, February 11, did not approve a resolution that would recommend the house to launch an impeachment process against President Ivan Gašparovič for his refusal to appoint Jozef Čentéš as general prosecutor.

The parliamentary constitutional committee at a session on Monday, February 11, did not approve a resolution that would recommend the house to launch an impeachment process against President Ivan Gašparovič for his refusal to appoint Jozef Čentéš as general prosecutor.

Only three opposition MPs - from the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ), Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) and Most-Híd - voted for the proposal, while Ordinary People and Independent Personalities (OĽaNO) MP Miroslav Kadúc abstained from the vote and five Smer lawmakers voted against the proposal. KDH MP Radoslav Procházka did not take part in the vote, but he earlier stated that he does not agree with launching an impeachment process.

The proposal was presented to the committee by SaS MP Martin Poliačik. "The reasons for not appointing Čentéš would have to be in line with the criteria as cited by the constitution. The Constitutional Court did not grant the president unrestricted powers," said Poliačik as quoted by the TASR newswire, adding that Gašparovič's decision was arbitrary and was not made within a reasonable period of time. [Gašparovič announced his decision more than 18 months after Čentéš was lawfully elected in Parliament. - ed. note]

Deputy Speaker of Parliament and KDH head Ján Figeľ came to the session to support the proposal submitted by opposition MPs. Curiously, the representative of his own party, Procházka, had a different opinion. He said that it would be difficult to prove that Gašparovič deliberately violated the constitution, particularly when the Constitutional Court provided him with a certain scope for manoeuvre. "Political, not criminal responsibility should be drawn," Procházka said.

(Source: TASR)
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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