Centre-left opposition files request for impeachment session

Ljubljana – Centre-left opposition parties have asked for an emergency session of parliament to discuss their motion to impeach PM Janez Janša. This is after the parliament met for a regular session today to discuss the motion and a number of bills, but the plenary was suspended after the MPs failed to confirm the agenda in a 42:42 vote.

The centre-left Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ), Social Democrats (SD), Left and Alenka Bratušek Party (SAB) see today’s vote as proving the coalition no longer has a majority.

They resorted to voting against the plenary’s agenda as a form of protest and pressure to push for an early election, while pointing to the still not fully resolved representation of opposition and coalition MPs in working bodies after four coalition MPs went independent at the end of March.

LMŠ head Marjan Šarec said that this government “is doing everything to stay in power, instead of doing what is normal in normal democracies, to go to elections for people to decide whom to give their voice and who should lead the country in the future”.

The centre-left opposition joined forces today to prevent the votes on bills which have been endorsed on the committee level in recent weeks after the group of four unaffiliated MPs were denied the right to vote on the committee. Hence the bills are illegitimate, Šarec argued.

With the regular plenary off the agenda, the four parties filed the request for an emergency session to vote only on the impeachment motion.

“The vote will be an opportunity for all MPs to decide whether they support what we witnessed today, or muster the courage to go to the elections,” said Šarec.

Similarly, Janja Sluga, head of the unaffiliated MPs, said the opposition had opted to vote against the plenary’s agenda over flawed relations in working bodies.

She argued that most of the bills had been endorsed by the committees in which opposition or unaffiliated MPs were not adequately represented.

What is more, most of the bills “benefit only a small, privileged social group” while harming most of the citizens.

The issue of representation of the unaffiliated MPs was resolved earlier in the day, but Sluga said the solution was still not fully in line with the new situation.

However, the LMŠ party said it was ending its blockade of the National Assembly’s work, started on 5 May, after the college of deputy group leaders reached a consensus to give the unaffiliated MPs spots in 12 working bodies.

The party said the blockade had largely achieved its purpose as the coalition, “who out of fear of a snap election unjustifiably appropriated their spots in working bodies with the help of supporters”, had yielded.

Meanwhile, Matjaž Han, the leader of the SD deputy group, said it was high time party leaders agreed the date of an early election, which he believes should be held after the Slovenian EU presidency spell.

He said he was aware the opposition would probably not muster the 46 votes needed to impeach the prime minister, but so the coalition were aware it would be hard for them to dismiss Zorčič.

“This is one of the ways of obstruction, which will continue until the relations in parliament are settled,” said Matej T. Vatovec of the Left about the vote on the agenda.

He believes the vote proved yet again the coalition was not able to function and “it would be best if the government resigns to open the door to an early election”.

Maša Kociper of the SAB said: “It’s clear at every step that we have a hung parliament which has a hard time functioning and passing government bills. We are convinced an early election should be called.”

Prime Minister Janez Janša and Democrat (SDS) deputy group leader Danijel Krivec labelled today’s vote as “absurd”.