The Slovenia Times

Anti-Graft Commission to Seek Cooperation with Law Enforcement


"We will do our job in line with the laws and the Constitution," said Boris Štefanec, the 59-year-old lawyer from Murska Sobota who was named president of the anti-graft watchdog.

Aside from cooperating with law enforcement, the commission will "seek political support from time to time" and it counts on the media to present their work to the public.

"Without its work being transparent and public, the commission will not be successful," he said.

Štefanec was quick to point out that the new leadership "by no means plans to engage in populism, we want to act fairly and transparently."

His deputy, former police official Jurij Ferme, also said efforts would be made to improve cooperation with other bodies tasked with fighting corruption.

"Our guiding lines will be professionalism, legality, and strengthening the rule of law," he said.

Darko Stare, the second deputy and the only member of the new leadership to have already served as an official at the commission, also highlighted cooperation as the key to their success.

The new leadership was appointed by President Borut Pahor, who described his picks as "totally dedicated to their job" and noted they were "independent and brave persons".

Reactions to the appointments have so far been muted given that unlike their predecessors, the new appointees have a fairly low public profile. However, the opposition has indicated is it displeased.

Perhaps the harshest reaction came from Janez Janša, the leader of the opposition Democrats (SDS), who said on Twitter last night that the move secured the continuity of the Yugoslav-era secret police UDBA on the commission.

SDS deputy Vinko Gorenak added today that the careers of the trio called for caution.

"President Štefanec and deputy Ferme are less known in the public, but Stare has participated in many of the Commission's highly controversial decisions that showed its utter bias," he said.

Moreover, Gorenak said the selection procedure "cast doubt" on the new leadership, as the opposition did not have a say in the screening of candidates.

The People's Party (SLS) meanwhile noted that much more was needed to crack down on corruption, for example implementation of the proposals that the outgoing leadership put forward last year.

Pahor said today as he presented his picks that he stood by his impartiality. "I believe they possess the moral and personal integrity to withstand the pressure," he added.


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