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The End of the Rule of Law: Speaker of the National Assembly Igor Zorčič Rudely Trampled the Slovenian Constitution!

Speaker of the National Assembly Igor Zorčič did not convene an extraordinary session which was requested by the SDS and NSi parties due to the political programme of the Levica party (the Left), which, in their opinion, is destroying the foundations of constitutional democracy. He decided to not convene the session because of the negative opinion of the Legislative and Legal Service regarding the discussion on the constitutionality of the Levica party programme. Contrary to the opinion of the Legislative and Legal Service and Zorčič, the Constitution stipulates that the Speaker of the National Assembly MUST convene an extraordinary session if at least a quarter of the MPs propose so.

The SDS and NSi parliamentary groups submitted a request to convene an extraordinary session of the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia, with a proposal for a recommendation to the Government of the Republic of Slovenia and other state bodies regarding the announcement of the tearing down of parliamentary democracy and other foundations of the constitutional order, which is mentioned in the political programme of the Levica party. The aforementioned coalition parties want to exercise enhanced control over the activities of the Levica party because they believe that it threatens the foundations of the Constitution.

After the request of the two parties was filed, the Legislative and Legal Service issued a negative opinion on the question of MPs discussing the constitutionality of the Levica party’s programme. They believe that only the Constitutional Court has jurisdiction over such issues, so the Speaker of the National Assembly, Igor Zorčič, decided not to convene the session, as the constitutional, legal or business conditions for convening it were supposedly not met.

Zorčič is mistakenly convinced that by proposing control and monitoring of the parliamentary political parties, the coalition parties would actually also undermine their own foundations. “Such a recommendation is, in my opinion, an absurd without precedent in a parliamentary democracy,” he explained. On the contrary, the coalition MPs believe that the temple of democracy should be open to debate.

Speaker of the National Assembly MUST convene an extraordinary session at the request of the MPs
The Constitution stipulates that the convening of an extraordinary session must happen if at least a quarter of MPs request it. “Regular and extraordinary sessions are called by the President of the National Assembly; an extraordinary session must be called if so required by at least a quarter of the deputies of the National Assembly or by the President of the Republic,” reads Article 85 of the Constitution, which talks about sessions of the National Assembly. Given that the Constitution is above all laws, this may mean that Zorčič violated the Constitution by not convening a session, which is very clear in this regard and does not allow exceptions, unless a specific case was a clear violation of the Constitution – which, in this case, neither the Legislative and Legal Service nor Zorčič can prove. With his decision to not convene the extraordinary session, Zorčič caused the exact opposite and created an unconstitutional state in the National Assembly, which, as one of the branches of the government, should be strictly based on respect for constitutionality and legality.

Sara Rančigaj

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