Attorney General candidacy could split coalition

Coalition hits another bump on its path to cohesion

The four coalition parties did not manage to reach an agreement yesterday over a common candidate for the post of Attorney General, and the whole process is causing friction between them once again.

The biggest problem is the nomination of current attorney general, Dobroslav Trnka, by SDKU MP Stanislav Janis. Trnka has been the subject of criticism because of his inactivity over various politically-sensitive cases, including the financing of the Smer-SD and SDKU parties.

SDKU’s coalition partners, SaS, Most-Hid, and KDH, are astonished at the nomination, and Most-Hid chairman Bela Bugar has even hinted that if the nomination were successful, it would spell the beginning of the end for the coalition government. The SaS, Most-Hid and KDH have agreed on a common candidate in the shape of Eva Missikova.

Prime Minister Iveta Radicova said yesterday that the nomination of MP Janis is his personal decision, which he is entitled to. She underlined that the agreement on a joint candidate is up to individual political parties, their chairmen and parliamentary caucuses.

SDKU could push through Trnka’s nomination without the help of its partners, because the nomination is also supported by opposition party Smer-SD, and possibly by nationalist SNS, and so the necessary majority would be achieved in parliament.

Trnka’s term in office as Attorney General runs out on 31 January 2011, and he sees no problem with his re-election, saying:  “I’ve held the post of Attorney General for seven years now and I don’t think my work has been inadequate. If someone decides to nominate me, I see no reason to decline.”

Trnka claims that his potential re-appointment has nothing to do with the investigations into the party financing scandals of Smer-SD and SDKU. The whole situation and official nominations will be clarified today, with the first round of the election process in parliament set for 3 November.

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