“At first, I thought he might have a question for me, but then he came at me, using hate speech, and he even entered my personal space and made me feel very uncomfortable with his threats. In fact, there was actual contact. That is why I showed him that he should move away with my hands,” the chairwoman of the Committee on Health, SDS MP Anja Bah Žibert, described the unpleasant experience she recently had with the SD MP Franc Trček, later also explaining in more detail what it was that Trček said to her.
“Yesterday’s meeting of the Committee on Health was a very demanding one. It was convened on Saturday because for the next two weeks, we have certain obligations in the National Assembly that last from morning to evening, so there were no other dates available. And soon after the beginning of the session, when we discussed the first item on the agenda, it became clear that not only would this session be a long one, but the so-called Constitutional Arch Coalition would also continue with its tactics of exhaustion, which they already began using at the recent interpellation of Minister of Education, Simona Kustec,” the SDS MP Anja Bah Žibert initially said. She still believes that this was not a matter of content but rather a matter of not concluding the session of the Committee on Health, and once again, the Constitutional Arch Coalition was counting on this.
Namely, they wanted the matter to be dragged on for so long, with various procedural, non-substantive appearances, that the session of the National Assembly, scheduled for Wednesday, would ultimately not happen. Somewhere near the end of the session, they themselves also admitted to this. “During this time, there was also an incident that was very shocking for me, and the shock only hit me a couple of minutes after the whole thing was already over. Nevertheless, I regained my composure and decided not to interrupt the session.” This time, she did not want to be deterred from continuing with the meeting, despite the fact that she experienced a verbal attack and also hate speech by SD MP Franc Trček.
In this case, the problem was not a public statement, which is what we are used to with Trček by now. This was actually a matter of him approaching the position where Bah Žibert sat and from where she chaired the session. At first, she thought he had a question for her, but then he came at her, using hate speech, and even entered her personal space, causing a strong, uncomfortable feeling with the threats he was making (and there was actual contact). So, Bah Žibert waved her hands to show him to move away. “I experienced the threat directly; in fact, there was even actual contact, and that is completely different from his public quasi-statements, or him believing himself to be witty.”
Despite everything, Bah Žibert persisted and focused her attention on the historical law on long-term care
Considering that Trček is an “old acquaintance” of the police, and given his actions at the Maribor uprisings, he is unpredictable, to say the least. With him, no one can predict his reaction completely. Bah Žibert could have definitely interrupted the session or even called the security services, as all the conditions for that were met, but instead, she focused on the law on long-term care, which the coalition was fighting hard for, as it is also the first of its kind in Slovenian history. Thus, in spite of the great inconveniences caused by certain members of the so-called Constitutional Arch Coalition, which is actually the left-wing part of the opposition, she went on with the session and chaired it for several hours, without any substitutes.
What did Trček say to her?
Bah Žibert described what happened as “very unpleasant” and “terrible” because this was no longer just verbal violence. He entered her personal, intimate space in such a way that she practically had to push him away because he was touching her. She was chairing the session, and he approached her. Sometimes the deputies come up to the chairman or chairwoman because they are interested in who is next in line or when it is their turn to speak, or for some other justifiable reason. “But instead, at that moment, he started threatening me: if you continue to issue warnings to me, you will soon find out who Trček really is, and then he started mentioning some children and covid-19… However, I did not understand if his children have covid-19, or if he perhaps wishes this disease on my children, or if he wants my child to end up in the covid ward.” She was in shock, but at the same time, she was still leading the session, so she could not really comment on this part of what happened.