“They are acting as if it is unconstitutional if the people who are in power change from time to time. In doing so, they occasionally forget that the previous government disbanded and fell apart right before the biggest crisis and that a captain who gives up on steering the ship during the biggest storm and runs to the lower deck should then not try to be smart about how our common ship should be steered,” Dr Matej Lahovnik commented on the left-wing opposition’s failed attempt at a constitutional complaint against the Prime Minister.
After the failed vote of no confidence for the government, the LMŠ, SD, SAB and Levica parties, as well as the independent MPs, have now experienced another unsuccessful attempt at investing their political funds against the government, as they failed to get enough votes for the constitutional complaint against the Prime Minister Janez Janša. Of the 87 MPs who were present in the National Assembly, 42 voted in favour of the constitutional complaint, while 44 voted against it. In order for the National Assembly to be able to file a constitutional complaint against Janša before the Constitutional Court, they would have needed at least 46 votes.
Jožef Jerovšek, a former long-time SDS MP, commented on the result and the debate by saying that the proposal for a constitutional complaint lowered the integrity and tarnished the reputation of the National Assembly, while the opposition made a fool of itself in the process. Jerovšek, who has a lot of experience, told us that he does not remember such beginner’s mistakes happening, nor does he remember such bad arguments or this much hatred from the entire time of his political career.
The opposition abused the instrument of establishing legal responsibility for political reckoning
Political scientist Dr Miro Haček believes that the case of the constitutional complaint was a classic example of political reckoning and that the instrument itself was also inappropriately used. Haček claims that complaints against the highest officials are an extraordinary instrument, “which is used very rarely and only as a last resort to assert their responsibility.” According to him, deputies should only use this instrument in case of the official’s violations of the Constitution and laws which have serious consequences during his time in office, “but not as a means of determining the adequacy or suitability of an official’s conduct, which is the case with the vast majority of the points in the proposal for the constitutional complaint against Janez Janša.”
The opposition should unite
Dr Matej Lahovnik pointed out another aspect of Thursday’s events in the National Assembly. Slovenia is about to begin its Presidency of the Council of the EU, so in this period, cooperation and the pursuit of the same goal are crucial – so the government will be able to complete this demanding task as successfully as possible. Lahovnik is saddened by the fact that it was during this period when the opposition resorted to another attempt to overthrow the government, which has been battling the epidemic throughout the entirety of its term in office. “They are acting as if it is unconstitutional if the people who are in power change from time to time. In doing so, they occasionally forget that the previous government disbanded and fell apart right before the biggest crisis and that a captain who gives up on steering the ship during the biggest storm and runs to the lower deck should then not try to be smart about how our common ship should be steered,” Lahovnik said.
Nevertheless, he notes that after more than a year of the anti-corona legislative measures, Slovenia has proven to be among the EU countries who were the best in facing the crisis. “Unemployment has decreased, and the average and minimum wage are significantly higher now, compared to before the crisis,” he pointed out.