17. 04. 2019 15:34
Slovak President Andrej Kiska appointed three new judges to the Constitutional Court on Wednesday (April 17) from eight candidates elected by MPs. The new judges named were Ivan Fiačan, Ľuboš Szigeti and Peter Molnár. This raises the total number of Constitutional Court judges to seven, enough to ensure the basic functioning of the court. The president said he considers the appointment of the three judges to be an exceptional emergency measure to ensure the court's functioning, adding that pending cases, both old and new, are accumulating at the Court. The president also appointed two of the new judges, Ivan Fiacan and Lubos Szigeti, as chair and vice-chair of the Court respectively. Crucially, this will also ensure the proper inauguration of Zuzana Čaputová as Slovak President in June, as the new president must be sworn in by a duly appointed chair of the Constitutional Court.
Although the full number of Constitutional Court judges is 13, the court has had only four judges on the bench since mid-February, when the terms of nine judges ended. At that time Parliament was meant to select 18 candidates, of which the president was to choose the nine needed. In the midst of political wrangling, however, MPs failed to elect any candidates in two rounds of voting. After Wednesday's three appointments there are still six vacancies to be filled. The next election round will take place at the parliamentary session that begins on 9 May, when lawmakers will be selecting 10 nominees for the six vacant posts from among 25 candidates.