Ljubljana – The National Assembly will vote on the appointments to the programming council and supervisory board of public broadcaster RTV Slovenija at an extraordinary session, after Speaker Igor Zorčič refused to put them to a vote on Thursday with the argument that the proposed line-up is not in conformity with the law governing RTV Slovenija.
The National Assembly was supposed to vote on Thursday on the five members of the programming council and five members of the broadcaster’s supervisory board, which are appointed at the proposal of parties.
The line-up, which had been confirmed by the Privileges and Credentials Commission, comprised names put forward by the coalition parties and two smaller parties, DeSUS and SNS, that tend to supply the missing votes to the minority government.
The opposition argued the selection was not in conformity with the act on RTV Slovenija, which stipulates that the selection must reflect to the maximum extent possible the composition of the parliament as a whole.
As Speaker Igor Zorčič refused to schedule the vote, all coalition parties walked out, after accusing Zorčič of arbitrariness and breaking the parliamentary rules of procedure.
Coalition representatives then held talks with both Zorčič and the legal service of the National Assembly on Friday and subsequently found a suitable solution.
At today’s press conference, the deputy group leaders of three coalition parties – Danijel Krivec of the Democrats (SDS), Jožef Horvat of New Slovenia (NSi) and Gregor Perič from the Modern Centre Party (SMC) – announced that they reached an agreement that the coalition request an extraordinary session at which the vote will take place.
Krivec (SDS) said that the coalition parties were surprised by Zorčič’s decision on Thursday, and he also believed that the Speaker had committed a breach of the parliamentary rules of procedure.
He said that “it is a fact that the parliamentary rules of procedure have been violated – this is a signal that we need to prevent similar things from happening in the future”.
Jožef Horvat (NSi) added that the coalition understands Zorčič is under pressure by some opposition parties due to his position as the speaker, particularly singling out the deputy group of the opposition Left.
Gregor Perič (SMC) agreed with him, saying that the parliament had witnessed an “unprecedented event” at Thursday’s session, and added that he could not remember a previous occasion when the speaker had not scheduled a vote once an item was put on the agenda.
Perič said that they also understood the complexity of the political situation of a close majority, but that Zorčič had acted differently than expected in this case.