SMC council to discuss future steps, Počivalšek leadership

Ljubljana – The council of the coalition Modern Centre Party (SMC) is meeting today to discuss current affairs and the party’s future course of action. Unofficial information indicates party leader Zdravko Počivalšek’s role will also be discussed as some would like to see him replaced.

Media reports suggest that several local SMC committees are unhappy with the party’s role in the government coalition and Počivalšek as party leader.

Some unofficial information indicates that Speaker Igor Zorčič, one of the SMC vice-presidents, would also like to see Počivalšek replaced.

The STA asked Zorčič whether he would like to replace Počivalšek, who also serves as economy minister, but is still waiting for a response.

Počivalšek addressed on Wednesday an open letter to the opposition and “all the other fellow stakeholders” urging partnership and cooperation to the benefit of Slovenia.

Zorčič meanwhile took to Twitter saying a talk with “fellow stakeholders” should first be held to discuss political interference in the prosecution and the non-implementation of the law setting down STA financing.

Several developments at today’s session are possible, including a decision to hold an electoral congress, or Počivalšek proposing a confidence vote a way of closing ranks.

It has been speculated for a while that Počivalšek would like to replace deputy group leader Janja Sluga but media reports suggest he lacks support among SMC deputies.

Počivalšek’s open letter also warns against a “destructive politics that can be seen in open hatred and in a degradation of democracy which leads to ruin”.

He believes such politics makes “people suffer” and leads to “those who used to see us as a role model overtaking us”.

Such practice should be replaced by practice which unites and facilitate development, the SMC leader said.

“If people really come first for us, it is high time we started talking about the future, about which areas need consensus and cooperation,” he said, adding he did not think this would be easy.

Počivalšek, 63, has led the SMC since September 2019 after its founder and first president Miro Cerar decided not to stand for party president again.

He has served as economy minister in three consecutive governments since December 2014, when Cerar invited him to become minister.