HDZ and SDP seem to have agreed on Constitutional Court judges

Two major political parties -- the HDZ and the SDP -- seem to have come to an agreement on the 10 shortlisted nominees for Constitutional Court judges who are to be appointed by lawmakers on Friday, according to unofficial reports on Thursday.

According to those sources, the candidates proposed by the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) are two current Constitutional Court judges who applied for another term -- Snjezana Bagic and Mario Jelusic -- as well as a judge from the Supreme Court, Branko Brkic, HDZ parliamentarian Davorin Mlakar, a former public administration minister, and lawyer Miroslav Sumanovic.

The Social Democratic Party (SDP) is proposing its two parliamentarians - Josip Leko, who was the speaker of the previous legislature, and Ingrid Anticevic-Marinovic, a former justice minister, as well as Andrej Abramovic who is currently the president of the Administrative Court in Zagreb, and two lawyers - Lovorka Kusan and Rajko Mlinaric.

The Croatian parliament will vote on the appointment of new Constitutional Court judges by a show of hands. The voting will be public after the Committee on the Constitution shortlists 10 candidates and appointment will require two-thirds majority support, or the support of 101 MPs.

Since 2008, Constitutional Court judges have been appointed by secret ballot. This method, however, turned out to be an insurmountable obstacle after the constitutional amendments of 2010 introduced a rule under which Constitutional Court judges were to be appointed by a two-thirds majority of all elected MPs.

A secret ballot was last held in July 2015 when Parliament was to choose two of three candidates for the posts of Constitutional Court judges, but none of the candidates received the required 101 votes.

Since the start of the year, the Court has been operating with 10 judges instead of the 13 required by law.

Another four judges are set to leave on June 7. If new judges are not appointed in time, the Constitutional Court will not have a quorum to make decisions, which would result in a constitutional crisis considering that the Court, among other things, oversees the constitutionality of election processes and proclaims final election results.

Last update: Thu, 02/06/2016 - 22:59

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