Kiska: Tuesday House Vote on Constitutional Judges a Warning

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President Andrej Kiska (stock photo by TASR)
Bratislava, October 24 (TASR) – The Tuesday (October 23) vote of the Parliament on the rules governing the election of Constitutional Court judges serves as a warning, as the system of checks and balances has remained untouched only due to the chaos surrounding the vote, President Andrej Kiska claimed on Wednesday.

“In an effort to exert political control over the Constitutional Court for the next 12 years, the governing majority was willing to lean even on the support of fascists [a reference to far-right opposition People’s Party Our Slovakia/LSNS – ed.note]. Another great warning is the fact that the principle that guided the drafting of our Constitution – the democratic system of mutual checks and balances when filling positions at the most important Slovak court – has remained untouched only due to the chaos surrounding the vote,” stated the President.

According to Kiska, representatives of the state have a duty to restore public trust in the judiciary, a process to which belongs also a proper and dignified selection of Constitutional Court judges. “It’s the Parliament’s obligation to offer to the President by February of next year 18 candidates, who will meet professional and moral criteria as required by the Constitutional Court,” underlined Kiska.

The head of state claimed that a political will must be urgently found to promote changes for the better in the judiciary. This could also be accomplished by having experts filing nominations for constitutional judges. “In the following weeks, I plan to organise meetings with representatives of the lawyers’ and judges’ organisations in order to encourage such activity on their part. As President, I stand ready to thoroughly exercise my constitutional powers in the selection of the best judges and thus contribute towards a better and higher quality Constitutional Court,” he added.