The Slovenia Times

Infrastructure Minister Stays in Office after Meeting PM


Omerzel, who came under a barrage of criticism over a contentious contract between the company he owns and DARS, said he presented "his side of the story" to Bratušek and Virant and would do the same next week to coalition deputy groups.

"Then we will see how to proceed," said Omerzel, who will now likely see an ousting motion from the opposition.

Support within the coalition is uncertain, however.

The junior coalition Social Democrats (SD) have not ruled out the possibility of voting in favour of the ousting motion.

"Media accusations against Omerzel are very severe. One minister has already resigned in face of similar accusations," SD deputy group leader Matjaž Han said today.

The senior coalition Positive Slovenia (PS) have said their member Stanko Stepišnik had set a high standard by resigning as economy minister because a company in part owned by him was bidding for state subsidies.

The ousting motion has been announced by the opposition Democrats (SDS) with the backing of the junior opposition New Slovenia (NSi).

Should the opposition People's Party (SLS) and the coalition SD also vote against the minister, the motion would get 46 votes, enough to oust Omerzel and make him the third minister to lose his job in just over a fortnight.

Omerzel became the target of media criticism and speculation about his potential resignation after it transpired that his company Lastinski had been preparing to renew the contract with DARS for the maintenance of road weather stations.

The minister announced last week - only after reports surfaced in the media - that the company would not renew the contract, and DARS has already selected a new company for the job.

PM Bratušek's cabinet said in a press release that Omerzel assured her that no new deals between Lastinski and the state have been made since he became minister this spring. Lastinski had been doing business with DARS for years before Omerzel became minister.


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