Speaker Zorčič says alternative is needed

Ljubljana – The parliament is operational for now, parliamentary Speaker Igor Zorčič said in an interview with the N1 news portal on Thursday, However, he believes that the government is not doing its job well and that elections are needed. He also revealed he was involved in talks on potentially forming a new party, along with the other unaffiliated MPs.

Zorčič’s decision not to join the opposition’s walkout during Tuesday’s sitting of the parliament has caused outrage in opposition ranks. He answered back with criticism, saying that they had been notified about his intentions beforehand.

In the interview for N1, Zorčič again denied cooperating with the coalition, but insisted that the functioning of the parliament should not be obstructed by the speaker.

“The normal functioning of the parliament is particularly important in the current situation, as the government is subjugating institutions and their functioning to its political ambitions. As the speaker, I will not tolerate this,” said Zorčič.

He also denied allegations that he was dragging his feet regarding the decision on his future political path and insisted that he had no intention to join any of the parties currently represented in parliament.

“I firmly believe that an alternative is needed to the current political parties and the destruction of the country that we are witnessing. My fellow unaffiliated MPs and I are discussing this with several interlocutors, working on a political programme,” he stated.

“The new party must be very clear in its programme regarding the social issues that concern our present and our future. It should not focus on a leading person, but on a vision”, said Zorčič.

When asked if he would be the person behind the new party’s programme, Zorčič answered that if a new party was to be formed, he would not form it on his own, but simply as one of the founding members.

However, he refused to comment on the meeting between the leader of the group of unaffiliated MPs Janja Sluga and the president of the Court of Audit, Tomaž Vesel, which took place a few days ago according to reports by some news portals.

Asked whether the new party could join a potential coalition with Prime Minister Janez Janša, the president of the coalition Democrats (SDS), after the election, Zorčič said that in his view, there is no such possibility.

“The new party must be an alternative to the current government and to the current opposition, positioned in the centre-liberal part of the political spectrum,” he added.

“It is too early to talk about possible coalitions – one criterion would certainly be ideological affinity, and the other would be the ability to put together a constructive and stable alternative to what we have in power now,” concluded Zorčič.