Jaromír Čižnár, a former schoolmate of Prime Minister Robert Fico who is currently a regional prosecutor in Bratislava, might become the country’s new general prosecutor after he reportedly told the ruling Smer party that he is prepared to accept the nomination, the Sme daily reported on June 11. In March he said he would not run for the post, which has been empty since February 2011, until the Constitutional Court rules on an objection filed by general prosecutor-elect Jozef Čentéš. Čentéš, who was elected by parliament in June 2011, submitted the complaint following the refusal of President Ivan Gašparovič to appoint him to the post.
Neither Smer nor Čižnár wanted to comment on the report. The only information revealed by the ruling party was that they would definitely propose a candidate. The opposition has already said it will not participate in the vote, Sme wrote.
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 2012 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 insubstantial reasons for formally rejecting him.
Following Čentéš motion to the Constitutional Court, the dispute later resulted in a so-called objection war which ended up with 12 of 13 court’s judges being objected to by either Čentéš or Gašparovič. The ruling Smer party passed an amendment via fast-tracked proceeding which was aimed at resolving the deadlock at the court. Though the president signed the amendment into law, the court halted its effectiveness based on an opposition complaint that it could be unconstitutional.
Meanwhile, Speaker of Parliament Pavol Paška announced that MPs can submit nominations for the new general prosecutor vote by 16:00 on June 13. The new election is scheduled for June 18.
Earlier in the day the Council of Prosecutors confirmed that it still considers Čižnár the appropriate candidate for the post. However, the recommendation of the council does not bind parliament, said spokesperson for the Office of the General Prosecutor Jana Tökölyová, as reported by the SITA newswire.
Prosecutors also said that the current state when there is no general prosecutor is unfavourable not only for the Office of the General Prosecutor, but for society. They therefore called for the situation to be resolved as soon as possible, SITA wrote.
Sources: Sme, SITA
For more information about this story please see: New GP to be elected this month, says Fico
Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
12. Jun 2013 at 10:00