The first round of the vote to elect the new Attorney General has just finished in parliament with no outright winner.
The SDKU got the predictable slap on the wrist for not respecting the common nomination of its coalition partners, as its ‘party’ nominee, Jan Hrivnak, is now out of the race. A pity really, because the vote could have been decided on today instead of being dragged on to tomorrow’s nail-biting session.
None of the three candidates got the necessary majority of present MPs to occupy the post. The controversial nominee of current AG Dobroslav Trnka scooped up the whole of the opposition vote, with 70 votes in his favour. The nominee of coalition parties SaS, Most-Hid and KDH, Eva Misikova, got their full support with 49 votes, while the SDKU put up its 28 votes in favour of last place Hrivnak.
Because it is a blind ballot, anything could happen, and the consequences cannot be underestimated. If, for example, some of the ruling coalition MPs were to vote in favour of Trnka (a possibility as he was also nominated by an SDKU MP), Trnka just might hold on to the post he has held for seven years already.
If this were to happen, it would throw a pretty big spanner in the works. PM Iveta Radicova has made it clear that she would probably stand down as the country’s leader if Trnka were re-elected, and her coalition partners have also expressed that it would be hard for them to continue as a unit if things turned out that way.
The fall of the government over the election of a single public official? Surprisingly, this is a real possibility, as it would only take the absence of a handful of MPs caught in traffic or suddenly kidnapped, or a few disgruntled or personally interested ones to vote anonymously for Trnka for the vote to pass. This would then change everything.
Interesting to note also is that 84 MPs voted against the nomination of Eva Misikova, even though the vote against is not compulsory. If these 84 were to vote in favour of Trnka, victory would go to the opposition.