Pahor says president does not decide fate of govt

Ljubljana – President Borut Pahor told the news portal N1 on Saturday that in his capacity as president he had neither the right nor the competence nor the duty to say that enough is enough in the current tense situation. The president does not have the power to decide on the fate of the government, he noted.

In Slovenia’s constitutional order, the National Assembly can decide on the government’s fate or the government itself if it decides to resign, but not the president, he said.

Restoring trust in dialogue and cooperation is a solution for the current circumstances, he pointed out, adding that there was a lack of both on both sides of the political spectrum.

As long as that is the case, even an election would not solve anything, according to Pahor.

The government, particularly Prime Minister Janez Janša, is often unnecessarily harsh and, at times, offensive in its or his communication.

“I think he [Janša] should refrain from statements or actions that could be perceived as inappropriate or offensive,” Pahor said, adding that such behaviour set the tone for the public debate, which was often “quickly and uncritically adopted by the opposition as well”.

Pahor said that both sides of the aisle had “a rather radical discourse that is very exclusive”. He sees a solution in either a new political face or the current ones realising the importance of dialogue.

The president also commented on the current issues in the country. Regarding the scandal about a leaked recording in which Environment Minister Andrej Vizjak, then economy minister, allegedly urges businessman Bojan Petan to avoid paying taxes, Pahor said that the facts should be established first. This, he believes, does not take much time.

In the last two years, he said, it has happened more often than during any other period since he has become president that he has had a different opinion from the government.

He disagrees with the government on the issue of the STA funding, arguing that the seventh Covid relief law is clear and should be observed by the government. He hopes that now that a new STA director has been appointed the issue can be resolved.

Pahor also believes that the government’s decision to annul the procedure to appoint European delegated prosecutors was unreasonable and baseless. He considers that the decision is not grounded in the legal order.

Responding to bipartisan criticism against his meeting with the head of the Resni.ca (Truth) party Zoran Stevanović, Pahor said that he received him because Stevanović had asked to meet him and to stress the importance of dialogue.

Moreover, he told Stevanović, who is considered one of the main organisers of the so-called Wednesday protests, that he is co-responsible for any riots if they occur.