The Slovenia Times

Towards the Constitutional Changes


The changes are proposed by the senior coalition Democrats (SDS), whose MP Branko Grims explained that the proposal was to have the current two-stage procedure cut to a single stage to have the prime minister and the government appointed in one go.

Under the current provisions, the National Assembly first takes a vote on the prime minister-designate, who is put forward by the president. The PM-elect then files a list of ministers on which a vote is then taken in the legislature.

The SDS proposes that the candidate put forward for the prime minister should submit a government line-up so that the National Assembly would take a single vote on the PM and the cabinet.

Grims argued that such a procedure would be more transparent, faster and more suitable than the current one.

The SDS also proposes giving the prime minister the power to dismiss up to a third of the ministers him- or her-self and to appoint their replacements without needing to seek support in parliament.

If the PM proposed the dismissal of more than a third of the ministers, he or she would have to seek a confidence vote in the National Assembly.

Jurist Miro Cerar told MPs that the Constitution Commission as a rule forms an expert commission, who would then prepare the material that would help in the decision-making process.

The Commission agreed to follow the same practice this time. Deputy groups now have until noon on Tuesday to put forward candidates for the expert commission to Constitution Commission chair Gregor Virant.

Summing up the debate, Virant said that practically everyone was in favour of simplifying and speeding up government appointment procedure, while the need for keeping the role of parliament was also expressed.

Janko Veber voiced hesitations on the part of the opposition Social Democrats (SD) concerning a reduced role of parliament. A similar opinion is shared by the coalition Pensioners' Party (DeSUS), who Marjana Kotnik Poropat said "support every more economical solution for government formation".

The changes aimed at simplifying the appointment of government are also supported in principle by the opposition Positive Slovenia and the coalition Virant List.

But Katarina Hočevar of the Virant List was sceptical of the proposal under which part of the ministers would be appointed by parliament and part by the PM.

Meanwhile, Maša Kociper of Positive Slovenia pointed out a number of substantive issues, including that the changes would force parties to form coalitions ahead of the elections.

Grims said that parties would not necessarily have to build pre-election coalitions, but he did say that such a development would be positive as it would make the political arena more transparent.

The proposed changes were also backed by the coalition Peoples' Party (SLS) and New Slovenia (NSi) and in principle also by Hungarian minority MP Laszlo Göncz.


More from Nekategorizirano