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Fico, Tichý welcome election of ‘new’ general prosecutor

Senior Smer members and the acting general prosecutor have welcomed the decision by MPs from the ruling Smer party to elect Jaromír Čižnár to be the country’s general prosecutor. The opposition parties refused to participate in the vote on June 18, arguing that the country already has a general prosecutor, Jozef Čentéš, who was elected by parliament in June 2011, but whom President Ivan Gašparovič has since refused to appoint, the TASR newswire reported.

Senior Smer members and the acting general prosecutor have welcomed the decision by MPs from the ruling Smer party to elect Jaromír Čižnár to be the country’s general prosecutor. The opposition parties refused to participate in the vote on June 18, arguing that the country already has a general prosecutor, Jozef Čentéš, who was elected by parliament in June 2011, but whom President Ivan Gašparovič has since refused to appoint, the TASR newswire reported.

Čižnár received the votes of all 82 Smer MPs present.

Prime Minister Robert Fico, who is a former classmate of Čižnár’s, hailed the latter, saying: “A man with considerable expertise and moral qualities recognised by prosecutors was legitimately elected today”, as quoted by TASR.

Speaker of Parliament and senior Smer member Pavol Paška said he believed President Gašparovič would not find anything that would persuade him not to appoint Čižnár, adding that since the name of Čižnár as a possible candidate appeared, “no one has ever cast any doubt over his expertise”.

“What’s more, the election was not tarnished by any persuading of MPs, supervision of their votes or stamping; the vote was legitimate,” Paška said, as quoted by TASR, adding that he hopes the president will decide as soon as possible.

Members of the opposition parties were critical of the vote, and all the opposition MPs present filed out of parliament just before the ballot, which was held in secret. Čižnár, welcoming the result of the vote, said he was “saddened by the hysterical reaction of the opposition, which continues to talk about how illegitimate the vote was, even though it has failed to cite the legal regulation under which the election of the general prosecutor is supposed to be legitimate”.

“I’m also saddened to see that they judge my work as biased in advance, although I have given them no reason whatsoever to make such statements,” Čižnár told TASR.

Čentéš, the first general prosecutor-elect, who is still waiting for the Constitutional Court the to rule on his two complaints regarding Gašparovič’s refusal to appoint him, said he would not comment on the election, adding he would “insist on the reasons for my constitutional complaint from January 2013, in which I proposed to the Constitutional Court to cancel the decision made by the president of the Slovak Republic not to appoint me”, as quoted by TASR.

The election of Čižnár was welcomed by acting general prosecutor Ladislav Tichý, who said that he is “incredibly relieved to learn that my odyssey leading the Office of the General Prosecutor is finally over”.

“I’m glad that someone stepped up with the courage to get involved in the general prosecutor vote despite the adverse political situation and intense strife surrounding the election,” Tichý told TASR.

According to an expert on constitutional legislation Marián Giba, Slovakia at the moment has only one elected candidate for general prosecutor post – Jaromír Čižnár, since Čentéš whom the president refused to appoint, is no longer a nominee. However, if the Constitutional Court rules that the president did not have the right to refuse his appointment, he might regain his candidate status, Giba told the SITA newswire.

Sources: TASR, SITA

For more information about this story please see: Smer deputies elect Čižnár to top prosecutor job

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

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