At the proposal of the coalition, the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia decided on the dismissal of the Speaker of the National Assembly, Igor Zorčič. At least 46 votes were needed for the dismissal, but only 45 MPs voted for the dismissals, as two votes were invalid, and the opposition obstructed the session. When asked how the minority deputies voted, given that they do not usually tip the scales in votes like this one, the State Secretary for Coordination between the Government and the National Assembly from the Office of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Slovenia, Vinko Gorenak, Ph.D., said that he does not want to speculate about this. “It is true that in similar situations, they acted in one way or the other. In 1996/97, Janez Drovšek was able to form the government precisely because of the votes from the minority MPs.”
Vinko Gorenak, Ph.D., emphasised that it is necessary to be aware that this situation does not mean the end of the world. “It is a blockade in the work of the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia, which will have to be resolved in some way.” When asked if the situation will be resolved by the SMC president and Minister of Economic Development and Technology, Zdravko Počivalšek, returning to the parliamentary benches, Gorenak answered that it is difficult to talk about this now. “We will have to sit down and talk about this in the coming days.”
“In any case, what is happening is very telling. One year ago, Igor Zorčič was called a criminal, a bastard, and many other things, simply because he joined the Janez Janša government. Today, he is the greatest democrat and everything else.” Gorenak went on to talk about the comments of the opposition deputies and recalled that when the coalition obstructed a session of the National Assembly a month ago when they were deciding on the vote of no confidence, the opposition MPs said that the coalition is twisting their arms and that this is an undemocratic party. “Today, they did the exact same thing,” Gorenak made it clear. “When Matej Tonin was the legal Speaker of the National Assembly, he stated very clearly: I will resign by myself because I am not part of the coalition. That did not happen today (Tuesday).” Gorenak believes that this speaks volumes about the fact that the Slovenian political left cannot survive without power. “This has been clearly proven,” he said.
When asked if the best possible scenario now is to have an election, Gorenak explained that in the Slovenian constitution, the regulations that define this area, it is very difficult to find a solution for a situation like this one. “It is not that simple. If the Prime Minister does not resign (and I believe that he will not simply give up, unlike Marjan Šarec), another political majority needs to form. A Prime Minister needs to be elected, and a new government must be formed. This can be attempted three times. If a new Prime Minister is not elected, then it is time for early elections. However, there is still a long way to go before we get to that point – if we were to think about it,” Gorenak emphasised.
The SDS party can go to the polls tomorrow
Given that we are in the third wave of the epidemic, the question arises as to when it would be appropriate to hold elections at all and how they could be made safe. “This depends entirely on the epidemic. The timing is also a little awkward.” Gorenak pointed out that as far as the political view is concerned, the fact is that the SDS party can go to the polls tomorrow. “This is more problematic from the point of view of the state, especially when it comes to controlling the epidemic. If a new team were to be formed, it would still need some time, and the presidency of the EU Council is a whole other matter. Namely, it is kind of awkward to have an election campaign during this time, or the formation of a new government, which is a process that can take up to six months. From this point of view, this is awkward. From the SDS’s point of view, of course, we have no problem with early elections.
“I do not think it would be possible to even hold an election before the 1st of July at this point.” According to Gorenak, there are very few countries that have held elections at such times. “In their cases, they had the regular elections, and it was not about the opposition doing what our opposition is doing here.” Discussions of what to do and how to proceed will follow in the coming days. “We all know that one of the options is also Počivalšek returning to his position as an MP, but decisions will be made in the days to come,” he pointed out.
From the right, accusations were made against Zorčič, calling for him to resign, and this raises the question of why he did not do so. When asked if this was some scheme of the left-wing pole, Gorenak answered that he believes that the matter happened quite spontaneously. “I thought he would be as self-aware as Mr. Tonin was and that he would resign. He obviously believes it will be easier for him to operate on the left. I do not know if we know of any country where the Speaker of the National Assembly is part of the opposition. All this tells me that the left longs for power and does not know how to live in the opposition. This can be seen at every step,” he was clear.
In light of the recent proposal by the SD parliamentary group leader Matjaž Han regarding the “political lockdown,” in which the MPs would clarify who is now part of the opposition and who part of the coalition, Gorenak explained that the statement was directed at DeSUS and perhaps also at the SNS party. “They want to force them to vote with them. They do not care about anything else. The fact is, however, that every Member of Parliament has the right to vote according to his or her conscience. If DeSUS supports the government’s good proposals, Mr. Han cannot force them to vote with his party.”