Coalition MPs file proposal to dismiss Speaker Zorčič

Ljubljana – MPs from all three coalition parties submitted to parliament on Thursday a proposal to dismiss Speaker Igor Zorčič, with the argument that he had joined at the end of March a group of unaffiliated MPs, which is not part of the coalition.

The Democrats (SDS), New Slovenia (NSi) and Modern Centre Party (SMC) filed the motion a day after the ruling SDS’s deputy group leader Danijel Krivec announced the coalition had collected 47 signatures to urge Zorčič to step down.

Krivec also said that should the speaker fail to decide to step down by next week, they would formally file a second motion to dismiss him.

The first attempt failed on 30 March as only 45 voted for the dismissal, one short of the required absolute majority, after Zorčič quit the SMC deputy group to go independent.

The development indicates that Zorčič rejected yesterday’s appeal and the proposal will now be put to a vote. However, the ouster motion is now signed by only 38 MPs from SDS, NSi and SMC.

Gregor Perič, deputy group leader for the SMC, said that the coalition had enough votes to oust Zorčič. “Don’t worry, we have sufficient votes,” he said.

Yesterday Zorčič said he would talk it over with some MPs before deciding whether to resign or stay on and let parliament try to dismiss him.

Zorčič is one of three SMC MPs who left the party at the end of March over disagreements with the leadership on the SMC’s role in the government coalition.

They have formed a group of unaffiliated MPs alongside another defector from the opposition Pensioners’ Party (DeSUS).

The opposition dismissed the proposal to oust the speaker as a bluff, claiming that the coalition does not have enough signatures to succeed.

“One day the coalition says it has 47 votes, the next day they come with 38 votes. If this happens in your village or street, they call you a liar,” Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ) deputy Jani Möderndorfer said.

And Social Democrat (SD) deputy Franc Trček said the National Assembly had been learning to count to 50 for the past six months. “I don’t know any more, is this the second grade of primary school or the National Assembly?”