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Pellegrini will not launch new vote on Constitutional Court judges

SPEAKER of Parliament Peter Pellegrini will not accept President Andrej Kiska’s request to launch a new vote on the fourth Constitutional Court judge candidate.

Peter Pellegrini(Source: SITA)

Pelligrini sees no reason to put the Constitutional Court judge vote on the agenda of the next session, Martin Dorčák of the Office of Parliament’s press department told the TASR newswire on August 19.

“Mr. President has been given six names, but appointed only a single candidate,” said Pellegrini, adding that Kiska should appoint two additional Constitutional Judges out of the remaining five individuals. The speaker referred to the Slovak Constitution, which “explicitly states the duty of the President to appoint and dismiss judges of the Constitutional Court”. According to the Article 134, paragraph 2 of this document, constitutional judges are appointed for a term of 12 years by the president, with parliament obliged to provide him with double the number of required candidates.

Pellegrini stressed that parliament has proposed double the number of required candidates for Constitutional Court judges and has thus met its obligations. “Any other approach on the part of parliament would fly in the face of the constitution,” he opined, as quoted by TASR. He also pointed out that on March 17, 2015, the Constitutional Court ruled that the President has violated basic constitution guaranteed rights in the case of three Constitutional Court judge candidates – Eva Fulcová, Juraj Sopoliga and Miroslav Ďuriš – whom he rejected and overturned the presidential decision. “The remaining two candidates, Ján Bernát and Imrich Volkai, have withdrawn their complaint filed with the Constitutional Court, but haven’t yet withdrawn their consent regarding their candidacies for the post of Constitutional Court judge. That means they continue to be candidates legitimately elected by parliament,” said Pellegrini. 

More than a year ago, Kiska was supposed to appoint three Constitutional Court judges out of six candidates proposed by the Parliament. However, Kiska opted to appoint only Jana Baricová, citing a lack of interest in constitutional law and necessary qualifications as the reasons behind his rejection of the others.

Read also:Two judges withdraw complaints about Kiska

The result of current stalemate is, according to the Sme daily, that the completion of lacking judges has been blocked until the CC makes am interpretation of whether, and under what conditions president can refuse candidates for CC judges. Kiska himself asked the Constitutional Court for the interpretation, after previous disputes with the ruling Smer party. However, the court has not announced whether it will rule at all, a sit is not obliged to comply with his request, Sme wrote on August 20.   

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