Supreme Court Chairman and Chairman of the Judicial Council Stefan Harabin could be running again for the post in the elections he himself set recently for 19 May, according to daily SME, which received a leaked document that he had accepted his nomination.
Harabin, who has been at the centre of various controversial accusations in the past, has already served in the post for two 5-year terms (1998-2003, 2009-present), with his current run due to end on 22 June. He could now steamroll the election once more and be reappointed by incumbent President Ivan Gasparovic before his own term runs out on June 15 .
Since Prime Minister Robert Fico lost the presidential elections to Andrej Kiska, the Smer-SD government has been shaping up, not shaking up, the judiciary, by recently nominating four relatively inexperienced judges to the Constitutional Court, three of whom will remain there for twelve years. Again, outgoing President Ivan Gasparovic will select the three most appropriate candidates, while the government decided not to nominate some of the most experienced constitutional judges in the country.
Harabin has had a tight hold on the judiciary for the past five years and should he continue as head of the Supreme Court and Judicial Council (until September at least), Slovakia’s judiciary will remain firmly under his thumb, and the good co-operation with the standalone Smer-SD government led by PM Fico can continue.