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Smer heading for new GP election

SMER might soon hold a new parliamentary vote for the post of general prosecutor, Prime Minister Robert Fico said on the public-service Slovak Radio (SRo) on May 25, adding that Smer would welcome a new candidate as early as this autumn.

SMER might soon hold a new parliamentary vote for the post of general prosecutor, Prime Minister Robert Fico said on the public-service Slovak Radio (SRo) on May 25, adding that Smer would welcome a new candidate as early as this 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 will most likely not change his mind, even if the Constitutional Court rules that Čentéš’ complaint of the president’s refusal to appoint him is well-founded. He further disclosed that there are a number of names being discussed in terms of a suitable new candidate, including 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 its candidate to the president prior to the parliamentary vote.

Čentéš responded that it is unfortunate when “the representative of the executive prejudges 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 a 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.

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