The Slovenia Times

Talks on General Political Reform to Begin Shortly


Janša said after the presidential run-off on Sunday that a far-reaching political reform was needed to remove blockades. He said he had since been receiving proposals for solutions "that did not have a two percent chance of succeeding just weeks ago".

Among the specific proposals the government plans to pursue, Janša mentioned the option to recall an MP. Asked whether it would also apply to judges and mayors, he said "all of them".

This is in line with a report in the business daily Finance today suggesting that a system allowing for a recall of all elected officials, including the president of the republic, MPs, mayors, and local councillors was in the works.

Janša urged the opposition to join the effort. His Democrats (SDS) will present their solutions to the public on Wednesday. He hopes other parties, in particular the opposition, will follow suit.

He believes there will be opposition from experts to the proposal. "It may not be in line with the Constitution, but then we have to change the Constitution to make it happen."

This is feasible, but it requires a thorough change in the approach to elections and accountability, and the "dispelling of the myth that somebody who is elected is a representative of the entire people...and is untouchable."

But apart from the recall, Janša hinted that a new attempt at devolution will be made.

None of the problems that we now see as political will be eliminated without bridging the differences in the development of regions, he said, noting that election turnout correlates closely with economic development.

He suggested this was one of the causes of the recent protests, noting that people who find it difficult to make ends meet express their dissatisfaction by protesting.

Janša is hopeful that "what is going on in the country now" will lead to "regionalisation, a different distribution of income channelling two to three billion euros from the national budget to local budgets".

Turning to the judiciary, Janša said election turnout would not improve until "people have the feeling that they live not only in state governed by the rule of law, but also in an equitable state."

"There are almost half a million pending cases at court, which means that almost every third adult citizen has a personal problem they cannot resolve in real time," he said, adding that all these blockades translated into the dissatisfaction that is additionally augmented by the economic and financial crisis.

Both regionalisation and stripping judges of permanent tenure have been long-held policies of Janša's party. Several attempts have been made over the years to establish regions and to end permanent tenure, but they all crashed due to the lack of bipartisan consensus.


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