Fico: Smer wants a new vote for general prosecutor in autumn

The ruling Smer party is losing patience with the opposition-sponsored schemes vis-à-vis the post of general prosecutor and cannot rule out that it will soon have a new vote held in parliament, Prime Minister Robert Fico said at the political talk show Sobotné Dialógy broadcast by public-service Slovak Radio (SRo) on May 25.

The ruling Smer party is losing patience with the opposition-sponsored schemes vis-à-vis the post of general prosecutor and cannot rule out that it will soon have a new vote held in parliament, Prime Minister Robert Fico said at the political talk show Sobotné Dialógy broadcast by public-service Slovak Radio (SRo) on May 25.

The PM added that Smer would welcome a new candidate as early as autumn.

“Jozef Čentéš is no longer a candidate for the post ... Ever since President [Ivan Gašparovič] asserted that he would never appoint him, we could have elected a new one, but we have been waiting [for the decision of the Constitutional Court],” Fico said, as quoted by SRo.

Fico went on to explain that Gašparovič most likely will not change his mind, even if the Constitutional Court rules that Čentéš’ complaint is well-founded, when it comes to his rejection on the part of the president.

“He [Gašparovič] said he would never appoint him,” Fico added.

He further disclosed that there are a number of names being discussed in terms of a new suitable candidate. He mentioned prosecutor Jaromír Čižnár, for example, who was recommended to the party by the council of prosecutors. Fico at the same time said that following the events surrounding the non-appointment of Čentéš to the office, the party is planning to present the candidate to the president prior to the parliamentary vote.

Čentéš responded that it is unfortunate when “the representative of the executive prejudge the ruling of the Constitutional Court and says that rejection of my appointment was in compliance with the constitution”, the SITA newswire wrote on May 26.

“This question is at the moment the subject of proceeding at the Constitutional Court, to whose decision-making nobody has access in the state of law,” Čentéš told SITA.

The term of the last general prosecutor, Dobroslav Trnka, expired in February 2011, but it took until June of that year for parliament to elect Čentéš as his replacement. However, Gašparovič then refused to appoint him, despite the Constitutional Court ruling in October 2011 that his election had been constitutional. Gašparovič faced extensive criticism from the opposition and political analysts for failing to appoint Čentéš, and then for presenting what they said were insufficient reasons for formally rejecting him.

Source: TASR, SITA, SRo

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports

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