Mocja Kulcer Dolinar, the freshly named minister.
If you haven’t paid attention, you might have missed the fact that PM Janša replaced three cabinet ministers a month ago. The last new minister to be replaced was minister of Higher Education, Technology and Science Jure Zupan of NSi (Nova Slovenia, a very right wing junior coalition partner). In his place Janša proposed (and his rubber stamp parliament approved) Mojca Kucler Dolinar, MP and Ljubljana city councillor. So far, everything is fine and dandy. Now, according to the law, a function of a government minister is incompatible with a function of a member of parliament. Thus, someone else will take Mojca’s place in the parliament.
There are two candidates: Majda Zupan and Anton Zakrajšek, both of whom have received the same percentage of the votes in their district. But there is a twist. They both received the same percentage rounded up to the second decimal point. The local electoral committee has – according to the law – decided to hold a draw between the two candidates who ran on NSi ballot. It turns out that Anton Zakrajšek got the long end of the stick and won the draw.
Just to explain – for purposes of parliamentary elections, Slovenia has eight voting units, each consisting of eleven voting districts. Votes are counted in each district separately and then summed up at unit level (and then on national level).
But there is another twist. In the mean time, Anton Zakrajšek switched parties and is now a faithful member of SDS (the senior coalition partner). So by Zakrajšek winning the draw, SDS got one vote more in the parliament and NSi got a vote less accordingly. The law, namely, stipulates that a replacement MP is chosen among those who ran on the same ballot on election day.
NSi obviously went apeshit, especially their pitbull-in-chief Jožef Horvat, MP, who decided that “meticulous” is the word-de-jour and said that Majda Zupan got 14.1403 % of the vote, while Anton Zakrajšek got 14.1356 percent of the vote and thus Zupan should get the parliamentary seat by a meagre .0047 percent of the vote.
There is one problem, though…
In case of 3rd voting unit the percentages received by each candidate were already rounded up to two decimal points at district level, which enabled Mojca Kulcer Dolinar to beat Majda Zupan by .5 percent on unit (overall) level. If the percentages were meticulously counted from the start, Mojca Kucler Dolinar would not win the vote in the first place.
I mean… I understand that NSi will defend its number of parliamentary seats tooth-and-nail, but they’ve got a serious credibility issue to deal with first. Luckily for them, the decision on a replacement MP actually rests with the state electoral committee which has the final say on the matter.
UPDATE: The State Electoral Committee has annulled the draw and declared Majda Zupan as the replacement PM.