Zlata Đurđević, the candidate enjoying the support of President of the Republic Zoran Milanović, received one vote from all the judges attending the general session, while the other candidates received none, according to a statement issued by the Supreme Court.
The session was attended by 33 of the total of 35 judges from all departments of the Supreme Court. They discussed the candidates’ programmes and CVs and then took a vote by secret ballot.
Earlier, it was announced that Parliament will discuss the President’s nominee for Supreme Court chief after the local elections. The law requires that a general session of the Supreme Court and the parliamentary Justice Committee also need to give their non-binding opinions on the President’s proposal.
The State Judicial Council (DSV) issued a new public call for applications on 31 March after President Milanović told the DSV that he would not propose any of the candidates who had applied in the previous call. The new call was closed on 6 May.
Insisting that the nomination of candidates was his constitutional right, Milanović proposed Đurđević as his candidate for the post of Supreme Court President in March already, but Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković refused to include the proposal on Parliament’s agenda saying that it was unlawful.
The Constitutional Court then ruled that the President of the Republic can only nominate a candidate who has responded to the DSV’s public call, saying that this does not restrict the President’s right to nominate and Parliament’s right to choose a Supreme Court President.
Prime Minister Andrej Plenković later said that, although she is a criminal law professor, Đurđević had agreed to be part of an unlawful procedure and therefore she was unfit to lead the highest judicial body in the country.
Right-wing opposition groups in Parliament have also announced that they will not support Đurđević.
The term of the incumbent Supreme Court President, Đuro Sessa, expires in July. If Parliament fails to appoint a new head of the highest court by then, the position will be temporarily held by the Deputy President of the Supreme Court, Marin Mrčela.
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