Parliament votes on ousting of Justice Minister Dikaučič

Ljubljana – The National Assembly will vote on Monday on a motion of no confidence in Justice Minister Marjan Dikaučič, tabled by the majority of the opposition parties. The debate is scheduled to last up to 13 hours, and the outcome of the vote is uncertain.

The motion accuses the minister of being responsible for publishing an unlawful public call for applications for the appointment of two European delegated prosecutors, and of tolerating “inadmissible delays by the government, its selective approaches and political motives in the appointment”.

Since the motion was tabled, the government has put forward the two candidates who have applied for Slovenia’s two European delegated prosecutors, even though their appointment is only temporary until the national appointment procedure is concluded.

In his response to the motion, Dikaučič rejected all accusations, adding that he saw the interpellation as substantially unfounded and not even about his work.

Intended as a tool to hold a minister politically accountable, the motion does not mention some of the issues related to Dikaučič that are nevertheless expected to be raised during the debate.

For some groups of MPs, the fact that Dikaučič is still under investigation on suspicion of tax evasion and forgery of business documents remains controversial.

The motion was tabled by the opposition Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ), Social Democrats (SD), Left, Alenka Bratušek Party (SAB) and the non-affiliated MPs, who have 43 votes between them – three short of the required outright majority.

The Pensioners Party (DeSUS) group of MPs stressed that they would take the final decision after the debate, but said last week that “in view of all the accusations to which the minister did not offer any concrete answers, we are strongly inclined to support the motion”.

Dikaučič can count on the support of his Modern Centre Party (SMC), the ruling Democrats (SDS), coalition New Slovenia (NSi) and the Slovenian National Party (SNS). However, if DeSUS MPs vote unanimously in favour, the opposition could succeed in removing the minister.