No Time to Waste in Attorney General Case
Head of the Constitutional Court Ivetta Macejkova is wasting no time in cleaning up the mess surrounding the vacant Attorney General post, so much in fact that she is not even waiting on the recent government revision to the Act on the Constitutional Court, SME daily writes today.
It seems that Chairwoman Macejkova has already designated the complex key case to a judge. The Attorney General post has been empty for over two years as President Ivan Gasparovic has persistently refused to appoint duly elected Jozef Centes to the post, as he does not feel, ironically for many, that Centes is morally suitable for the crucial post.
Centes’ election to the post in parliament in 2010 came after the Smer-SD party lost the poker game being played with the parliamentary rules of procedure, as it boycotted the vote only to watch Centes be elected. The president, known for being accommodating to PM Robert Fico, has since been involved in a ping-pong match of petitions filed with the Constitutional Court to sort the matter out. The court initially recognised Centes’ election, but the president still refused to appoint him.
The Constitutional Court was eventually blocked from ruling on the case, after both sides filed petitions against the impartiality of all but one of the presiding judges. The new law, steamrolled through fast-track proceedings last week by the stand-alone government of the Smer-SD party, looks set to override the dispute and enable a new process, and so the party will surely see its candidate installed, finally, seemingly by whatever means necessary.
According to the revision to the law, the case will be returned to the same panel of judges that first ruled over the case, by application of the doctrine of necessity. Even though President Gasparovic hasn’t yet endorsed the revision, Macejkova already assigned the case back to the original judge, who has condemned her actions.
Centes himself is enraged, telling the daily that “The procedure of the court chairwoman can point to an attempt to disrespect the right to a fair hearing and the right to an impartial and legitimate judge in my case”. “The Slovak legal code does not allow any state authority to proceed in line with a law that has not yet acquired force” added Centes.