Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook

Venice Commission refuse Kiska's "No"

The Venice Commission refused to step in as arbiter and will let Slovakia resolve its own issue of Consitutional Court judge vacancies.

Andrej Kiska(Source: SITA)

“The response from the Venice Commission isn’t, unfortunately, strong enough input to resolve the impasse surrounding the appointments of Constitutional Court judges once and for all,” president’s spokesperson Roman Krpelan said. “Despite this, President Andrej Kiska respects the stance arrived at by the Venice Commission and stands ready as president to act in accordance with his promise.”

Since 2014, Kiska has appointed only one judge (Jana Baricová) to fill CC vacancies out of six candidates presented by parliament, claiming that the remaining five do not seem to be genuinely and deeply interested in constitutional law and that they also lacked what he deemed the necessary skills. Two spots thus remained unoccupied, while another one – of the 13-member CC plenum – became vacant in February 2016, the TASR newswire wrote.

Parliament proposed two candidates – Mojmír Mamojka and Jana Laššáková – but the president refused to appoint either of them. A dispute arose as to whether or not the president was entitled under the Constitution to such a course of action, with the Constitutional Court deciding that Kiska violated the rights of the complaining candidates. The head of state called the verdict of the CC internally incongruent.

Kiska then turned to the Venice Commission for an impartial opinion. It recommended that the president respect the Constitutional Court ruling. Kiska has been refusing to appoint judges and fill vacancies for nearly three years, the Sme daily wrote on March 13.

The Venice Commission adopted a stance that does not directly answer Kiska’s inquiries, according to TASR, while also stating that it cannot assume the role of international arbiter and does not intend to interfere in the process within Slovakia.

The response of the Venice Commission is not a strong enough statement to solve the stalemate once and for all, Krpelan said. He added, as quoted by Sme, that the president respects the statement, though, and is ready to act as he promised. As soon as the current proceeding at the Constitutional Court is finished, he will decide on the appointments.

Top stories

How did Communism happen in Czechoslovakia?

For the 40 years, Czechs and Slovaks would celebrate February 25 as Victorious February, even though the enthusiasm of most of those who supported Communists in 1948 would very quickly evaporate.

Prime Minister Klement Gottwald (right) swears an oath into the hands of President Edvard Benes on February 27, 1948 at the Prague Castle.

Cemetery with a remarkable creative concept Photo

The shapes of tombstones were prescribed until 1997

Vrakuňa Cemetery in Bratislava

Being young is harder than it used to be

The failure of older generations to sympathise with youth means politics are primarily a contest of who can hand out more gifts to old people.

Young Slovaks have problems finding proper jobs.

Historian: After 1948, Czechoslovakia was paralysed with fear

On February 25, Czechs and Slovaks mark 70 years since the rise of Communism in their common state. Historian Jan Pešek talks about the coup and its aftermath.

Demonstration in Prague, Wenceslas' Square, on February 28, 1948.