Opposition tables motion of no confidence in justice and education ministers

Ljubljana – Four centre-left opposition parties have tabled motions of no confidence in Justice Minister Marjan Dikaučič and Education Minister Simona Kustec. The main charge against Dikaučič is the failure to appoint delegated European prosecutors. Kustec has been accused of failings regarding getting schools ready for the new wave of the pandemic.

“If we were a normal country, neither would be ministers any more,” Matjaž Han, the chair of the Social Democrats (SD) deputy group, told the press on Tuesday about the motion tabled by the Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ), SD, Left and Alenka Bratušek Party (SAB).

The main charge against Dikaučič is that he has failed to secure the appointment of Slovenia’s two prosecutors delegated to the European Public Prosecutor’s Office by allowing “impermissible government delays”.

He also participated in the adoption of legislative proposals that encroach on human rights, and allowed the closure of the only notarial office in the Lower Savinja Valley after having unsuccessfully tried to become a notary there himself, according to the opposition.

It was revealed earlier this week that Dikaučič is also suspected of tax evasion when he was a director of a company. LMŠ leader Marjan Šarec said this charge had not been included in the motion but nevertheless proved that the opposition’s attempt to oust him was correct.

Kustec, who just returned to work after recovering from Covid-19, is alleged to have failed to inform schools sufficiently in advance of the coronavirus restrictions educational institutions will have to comply with, resulting in chaos.

Matej Tašner Vatovec, deputy group leader for the Left, accused Kustec of dereliction of duty when it came to preparedness of schools for the current wave of Covid-19.

Moreover, he said, she has failed to stand up for public education and neglected sports. “We’re going to show her yet again that her work is not insufficient, it is non-existent,” said Tašner Vatovec.

Dikaučič said he saw the motion as “an integral part of politics” and a chance to “show what the ministry is doing in terms of the commitments in the coalition agreement.”

Kustec said she would respond to the allegations during the course of the debate at the National Assembly. This is the second attempt to oust her since she took office in spring last year, the previous one having failed this March.

Gregor Perič, the deputy group leader for the coalition Modern Centre Party (SMC), said the energy expended on the two motions could be better used more constructively, noting that the opposition does not have enough votes to oust the two ministers.

He said both SMC ministers had been the targets of a campaign for a while now, the aim being to pick on one particular coalition party before moving on to the next one. “This is probably what the strategy will be like in the future.”