The attempt by the opposition to impeach President Ivan Gasparovic for his persistent refusal to appoint duly elected attorney general candidate Jozef Centes will be the subject of debate in an extraordinary session in parliament today.
With the President accommodating and enjoying the complete backing of PM Robert Fico and his stand-alone majority government, however, nobody would be blamed for seeing the petition lodged by 44 MPs to impeach the President as a foregone conclusion. The President himself will not attend the session to explain his actions or inaction.
As the motion requires the backing of 90 MPs, there is little chance of the motion being successful, as the opposition yields just 67 seats in total, while the ruling Smer-SD party enjoys 83. With the exception of treason, the President can only be impeached if it is shown that he intentionally violated the Constitution.
The opposition MPs are claiming Gasparovic intentionally stalled for over 18 months, ignoring the parliamentary election of Centes to the attorney general post and also a ruling of the Constitutional Court backing the election outcome. Gasparovic announced at the beginning of the year that he would not appoint Centes and so a new vote would be required. A protest was held after the announcement in front of the Presidential Palace in Bratislava calling for the President to stand down.