The Slovenia Times

Education Minister Survived Ouster Motion


Head of the Citizens' List (DL) deputy group Rihard Braniselj stressed in the debate that the opposition Democrats (SDS), who filed the motion in February, continued their practice of using anonymous complaints. The SDS had based their allegations on an anonymous police complaint against Pikalo and Igor Lukšič, who was education minister in 2009.

The SDS cannot prove whether the accusations of alleged corruption in a 2009 public tender that awarded funds to the Social Sciences Faculty (FDV) in Ljubljana are true, Braniselj said. The coalition moreover accused the SDS of attacking its political competition without any need, while SocDem (SD) MP Mirko Brulc noted, that the ouster motion was "a blind shot".

Another SD deputy, Ljubica Jelušič, said that the ouster motion met the terms formally, but was "baseless in regards to reason and substance".

Interpellation proponent, SDS deputy Jože Tanko, however stressed that Pikalo failed to negate the accusations in the interpellation.

According to him, the coalition based its defence on directing attention "to other times and other ministers", as Pikalo noted that an ouster motion can only be aimed at a minister's work and not at the work they had done at another time at another institution.

The fact that Pikalo was not a minister at the time of the tender is not important, Tanko said, adding that the minister is being investigated for a criminal act. No-one has denied Pikalo's participation in the project or the family and political relations, he said.

After surviving the vote, Pikalo stressed that today's vote showed that people should think before accusing others based on anonymous complaints.

The minister moreover believes that the motion was an attack on public education and retribution for annulment of concessions the previous government had given to private higher education institutions.


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