Parliament has failed once again to vote in a new Attorney General in the third round of voting already. The vote on the Attorney General has caused friction in the coalition and all kinds of quarrels between the two camps in parliament.
Today’s ‘secret ballot’ required one of the two candidates, Dobroslav Trnka (current AG, supported by the opposition) or Jozef Centes (the coalition’s common candidate) to get a simple majority of MPs in attendance (149), meaning at least 75 votes. The results, which are just in, show that Trnka got 74 votes, Centes 73 votes, with 2 votes being declared void.
Some coalition MPs must have voted in favour of Trnka, though, as he got 6 votes more than present opposition MPs. These were possibly from Most-Hid or KDH as both SDKU and SaS took steps to ensure their ‘loyalty’. SDKU MPs went to the ballot box in pairs, while the SaS MPs once again took photos of their ballot papers.
Immediately after the vote a highly irritated Bela Bugar from Most-Hid said his party had a way to check how its MPs had voted and so was certain that the ‘betrayal’ of the coalition was not from his caucus. Head of the KDH caucus, Pavol Hrusovsky, is also claiming that his people voted for Centes, but will try to get the next round of voting made public instead of a blind ballot.
Dobroslav Trnka was therefore pretty close to holding onto his post for another 7 years, and just might have if Jan Mikolaj from nationalist party SNS had not been absent from the session.
The voting has been shrouded in mud-slinging again, with Rafael Rafaj from the SNS firstly trying to have Centes’ nomination cancelled on grounds that the coalition had announced his candidacy too late, while the other opposition party Smer-SD is filing a petition with the Constitutional Court over the picture-taking of ballot papers.
So the saga goes on, with the next attempt to vote in the Attorney General set for 11.30 on Tuesday 7 December. In the meantime, the Coalition Council will be examining what happened and if some heads should roll.