Ljubljana – Slovenian voters have learned their lesson in the previous parliamentary term and let no room for surprise in this election. But not everyone understood the message, the newspaper Dnevnik says in Wednesday’s commentary entitled Threatening Circumstances.
The new parliamentary Speaker Urška Klakočar Zupančič was asked after her talks with the president yesterday about the timeline for the appointment of the new government. She replied that not everything depended on institutions, it also depended on the circumstances.
“What that could mean is not clear. But let us try to imagine what concretely circumstances mean in parliamentary democracy when someone is walking on the edge.”
One such circumstance could for example be the pandemic. In 2020, PM Janez Janša said in parliament that if MPs would be unable to meet because of infections and quarantines, the government would take on the role of the legislature.
“This circumstance could be described as a soft coup d’etat although it is indeed envisaged in the constitution in extreme circumstances.”
Another circumstance is the case of a hung parliament, when the fate of the government coalition depends on an MP or two and rather than following their party head, who announces candidacy for PM, they decide to be loyal to the prime minister.
“History is full of this kind of circumstances, which, as the new National Assembly speaker could be understood, could affect the election of the new government.”
The paper points to threatening statements Defence Minister Matej Tonin made to the future minister for solidarity-based future Luka Mesec, suggesting that it was not certain that the new government will take over on 3 June.
“Circumstances are such that the new National Assembly, half of which consists of old hands, of whom most are in the opposition, and the other half of newcomers … was blocked the very first day,” the paper says, pointing to the 30-plus legislative motions tabled by the opposition.
“Although the memory of the recent general election is still fresh it is clear that a new pre-election era has started. We live in a time when a day in politics without conflict, blockade, incident, emergency session or a referendum, is considered a day lost in the battle for power.”