Corruption Prevention Commission Resigns

Klemenčič, whose team took over in September 2010 and played a crucial role in the March 2013 change of power in the country, told the press in Ljubljana that the move was not a result of despair, powerlessness, pressure or lack of will to work.

He said the decision had been maturing since the summer and was a protest against the failure of politics to address systemic corruption in the TEŠ6 power generator project, the banking system, health care and with respect to officials' assets.

The former Interior Ministry state secretary said it was moreover unacceptable that mayors remain in office who have been convicted of criminal acts and that individual media are abused by certain interest groups.

Klemenčič added that the leadership of the commission, consisting of former Dnevnik journalist Rok Praprotnik and criminal law expert Liljana Selinšek, could not longer tolerate the issue of corruption being politicised and subjected to pure populism.

"From out position, we had insight into this Slovenian cesspit," said Klemenčič, pointing out that his team had already announced in January – when it published the damning corruption reports on party leaders Janez Janša and Zoran Janković – it would step down if no serious changes followed.

Praprotnik added the commission had hit a wall it could not pass, noting that it had already called on parliament a year ago to upgrade the anti-corruption legislation, but to no avail.

"A silent alliance has been formed in parliament that does not support changes to the legislation," he said, indicating a cross-partisan agreement.

Klemenčič said that Slovenian politics is not willing to fend off lobbies while it demands that oversight authorities solve the problem.

"In the end we, the police and the prosecution will be held responsible for the hole in the banking system and the disintegration of the health care system."

While Klemenčič believes that some progress has been achieved in the fight against corruption, this progress is not sustainable and is burdened with information leaks. He fears procedures will begin to be used as an alibi for preserving the status quo.

Selinšek called for systemic changes, arguing that "too much legislation is being abused, so that we no longer know what is right".

The presidency of the commission plans to continue with its work until a new team is appointed but not beyond March next year. Klemenčič announced the trio would not stop speaking of corruption in the country, possibly even more freely once they are no longer officials.

The presidency of the commission was also backed by the remaining staff of the anti-graft body, which wrote in a press release today that the resignation of "persons with maximal integrity and an ethical attitude should be a reason for alarm in the whole of society".