The saga surrounding what can only be referred to as a power struggle over the Attorney General post continues as the coalition moves forward with its plans to make the vote by public ballot, while the opposition contests the move once again through the Constitutional Court in an effort to keep the vote secret.
Parliamentary chairman Richard Sulik announced yesterday that MPs could now put forward their nominations for the next vote, set for the parliamentary session in June. Nominations can be submitted until the close of parliament on 10 June.
Sulik denied allegations that the government was trying to hold a public ballot before the Constitutional Court rules on the latest petition from interim Attorney General, Ladislav Tichy. The coalition has already pushed through an amendment to the Parliamentary Rules of Procedure allowing the open vote, but this is being contested in the petition.
Jozef Centes is still the coalition’s preferred candidate and so looks set to run for the post in the June session. Centes himself declared yesterday that he was sticking to his statement that he would be willing to run for the post if the vote is public.
The Constitutional Court has, with lightning speed, already assigned a judge to deal with the petition from Ladislav Tichy contesting the change to the Rules of Procedure. The judge will now decide if the coalition’s amendment to the rules is unconstitutional, as claimed by Tichy.
Tichy has also requested the court to issue a preliminary injunction, which would prevent any vote from taking place until the court rules on the matter. The perpetual tug-of war threfore looks set to continue, with the country being without an Attorney General since February already.
Justice minister Lucia Zitnanska had some sharp words to say on the subject yesterday, claiming that Robert Fico’s Smer-SD party wanted to maintain the status quo at the Attorney General’s Office so that nobody could investigate all the scandals and dubious business deals that the party was involved in when in power.