Ljubljana – Aleš Hojs remains interior minister not only after surviving a motion of no-confidence in parliament on Saturday but also after today’s meeting with PM Janez Janša. He told the STA that Janša had returned him the envelope with his resignation, which he tendered in late June, and that he now decided to stay on.
“This means I’m withdrawing my resignation,” he told the press on Monday, adding that he would tear up the envelope.
He tended his resignation on 30 June after the no-confidence motion was filed against him by four left-leaning parties. He did so after the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) conducted a series of house searches, including with the economy minister, as part of an investigation into public procurement of ventilators.
But Janša did not notify parliament of Hojs’s resignation, asking him to reconsider his decision, so Hojs eventually decided to remain in office until the no-confidence vote.
Hojs announced he would meet Janša to discuss his position in the government while his fate was being discussed as part of the opposition-sponsored ouster motion on Friday. He survived the vote, as the opposition was three MPs short of dismissing him.
The dismissal motion focussed on the Interior Ministry’s decision to overturn a ban on a concert by a nationalist Croatian singer, but there was also a lot of criticism of Hojs’s other alleged misdeeds, including his interventions in the work of the NBI.
Despite deciding not to resign, Hojs said the reasons for which he had wanted to step down remained: the criminal police and the NBI as the most important part of the police force should be depoliticised. He also partly blamed many cases not being thoroughly investigated on the prosecution and the judiciary.
Janša and Hojs moreover discussed which coalition commitments from the coalition agreement are yet to be implemented.
Hojs said that changes to the foreigners act, the international protection act and the police organisation and work act were ready.
Also planned is another attempt to activate Article 37a of the defence law to give soldiers limited police powers in protecting the border against illegal migrants.
However, the minister would first like the police to make it clear whether it still wanted this type of support from the Slovenian Armed Forces.