After the agenda for the May regular session of the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia was rejected with 42 votes in favour and 42 votes against (the LMŠ, SD, Levica and SAB parties, as well as the independent MPs, voted against the agenda, with the exception of one SD MP, who was not at the session), the matter caused quite a stir among the citizens, as this meant that discussions about a number of important solutions for the people were not going to happen. However, since this also means that the discussion about the constitutional complaint against Janez Janša was postponed, part of the opposition filed a request to convene an extraordinary session on Wednesday.
The coalition, on the other hand, requested the convening of an extraordinary session to address most of the other items scheduled for the regular session, and therefore, a decision was made to combine the two into a single session.
After Monday’s meeting organised by the Speaker of the National Assembly, the leader of the SDS parliamentary group Danijel Krivec responded to the proposal for a constitutional complaint, claiming that he finds the constitutional complaint against Janez Janša pointless because there was no violation of the law. As he has repeatedly explained, the constitutional complaint is not a tool for the destabilisation of the government, the fight for power or for creating a political crisis, which, in this case, is the only intention of the parties of the left-wing opposition. Meanwhile, former Prime Minister Marjan Šarec, who is vigorously fighting for early elections after he gave up on leading the country right before the epidemic, stated that “voting on the proposal will be an opportunity for all deputies to decide whether they support these actions we are witnessing today, or whether they have enough courage and awareness of the situation that they will be able to go to the polls.”
After the former Minister of Health Tomaž Gantar, based on the opinion of the vaccination advisory group, mostly ordered the AstraZeneca vaccine, which was initially presented as the fastest and cheapest option, Janša made sure that we also got an additional 1.5 million doses of the Biontech/Pfizer vaccine, which allowed for an above-average rate of vaccination. This, however, did not change the left-wing opposition’s mind, as they still decided to file a proposal for a constitutional complaint, in which the people who left behind empty warehouses of protective equipment are accusing Janša of not acting responsibly enough when ordering the vaccines. In addition, they are also accusing him of not financing the Slovenian Press Agency, interfering with the prosecutor’s office, endangering drinking water, inciting violence against women, as well as intolerance and hate speech.
Following the announcement of the constitutional complaint, Prime Minister Janša emphasised that it represents a new pathetic attempt to overthrow and destabilise Slovenia during the epidemic. “After the destructive votes of no confidence, the media assassinations of the coalition partners – the DeSUS and SMC parties, and a series of failed interpellations, a new pathetic move by the first-class to destabilise the country during the epidemic. The worse for Slovenia, the better for the SD, LMŠ and SAB parties.” We decided to ask two experts on political events for their opinion on the filing of the constitutional complaint, namely, prof. Dr Matevž Tomšič and prof. Dr Matej Makarovič.
This is an abuse of this instrument
Tomšič pointed out for Nova24TV that in their writing, which is very difficult to label, the proponents of the so-called constitutional complaint do not even reference articles and laws at all. “This is nothing more than a purely ideological construct; it is a figment of their imagination,” Tomšič pointed out, adding that the proponents decided to file the complaint after already using up all of the other instruments they had available for the undermining of the government. “They used what they had left. Given how this thing is composed, I would say that it is an abuse of this tool.”
“It is perfectly understandable and normal that the government and the opposition have different views on a number of issues. That is a part of democracy. It is different, however, if one side declares the other’s actions to be unconstitutional. I think that, given the nature of the cases listed by the opposition, if anything, any other form would be more appropriate, such as an interpellation or a vote of no confidence,” Makarovič commented on the proposal for the constitutional complaint, adding that the current opposition is excessive with its reckless use of these instruments, which has also led to the diminishment of their value. “And they are now doing the same with the constitutional complaint.”
The opposition has gone even further than the principle of “Either you are with us, or you are against us”
It is expected that the MPs will first discuss the proposal to ask the President of the Republic, Borut Pahor, for his opinion on the proposal for the constitutional complaint of the Prime Minister. If this does not receive sufficient support, they will continue with the discussion on the constitutional complaint. Krivec pointed out the belief that the President of the Republic should not comment on this because it is a matter of procedure in the National Assembly. “We do not expect him to comment on that.” According to Tomšič, this proposal illustrates the absurdity of the content of this document. “Calling on the President is the least of the problems here. I am sure that the President will know how to act in this case.”
Makarovič believes that this is more of a political game, which was once called a division of ghosts, but nowadays, it is called political polarisation and radicalisation. “In this case, the opposition has gone even further than the principle of ‘Either you are with us, or you are against us,” as they are defending the position of ‘Whoever is not strongly enough against Janša, is against us.’ They are clearly trying to drag the President of the Republic into this obviously harmful and destructive game of polarisation, and either force him to condemn Janša or brand him a traitor if he does not do that.”
They both believe that the proposal for the constitutional complaint will be rejected
Given that, according to the Slovenian Press Agency, the leader of the SD parliamentary group Matjaž Han said on Monday that there is currently a relatively small chance of the constitutional complaint getting enough support and that he does not believe that the proposal to ask Pahor for an opinion would get the support it needs, we asked the two political analysts whether they believe that there is a real possibility for the proposal for the constitutional complaint to actually receiving enough support. Tomšič believes that Han’s statement shows pretty clearly how much the proponents believe in what they are doing. “If they had the necessary 46 votes, they would have already replaced the government. I believe that there is no chance for the success of the constitutional complaint,” Tomšič concluded.
“Even in the extremely unlikely scenario of the constitutional complaint succeeding, which I do not believe will happen, I am certain that it would then fall in the Constitutional Court. Of course, the reason for this would not be that the Court is in favour of Janša, but rather that it is fundamentally committed to constitutional principles,” Makarovič emphasised, adding that the most likely scenario is that the accusation will fall in the National Assembly. “By rejecting it, the government will be further strengthened, and the instrument of the constitutional complaint will be further devalued.”