Under usual circumstances, Levica bailing out on the supply & support agreement with the Šarec government (or the other way around, depending on whom you ask) would be big news. But seeing as the circumstances are anything but usual, the splash Luka Mesec and his democratic socialists hoped for was anything but spectacular.
This was just the latest of missteps, unforced errors and ham-fisted efforts at controlling the narrative that has marked the past few weeks in Muddy Hollows and pengovsky hopes to make a short series of posts on them. Let’s start with the latest one.
One of the peculiarties of the Slovenian parliamentary system are the separate votes on the prime minister and on their cabinet. Which means that once he was appointed PM, Marjan Šarec was only half-done. But as posturing slowly gave way to reality he and his coalition partners were able to agree on a division of labour which broadly goes along the lines of leaders of junior coalition partners getting all the high-profile jobs, LMŠ getting the PM spot and all the crappy jobs with the remaining cabinet members having merely to show up on time and not to screw up too much.
The one thing that separates this government from the previous twelve is the fact that Šarec will have two former PMs in his cabinet. Alenka Bratušek and Miro Cerar have both dealt with their own respective large-scale crises and will be able to provide Šarec with some first-hand advice on handling the situation if things suddenly go tits up. Provided, of course, the new PM will want to listen in the first place. Because he already demonstrated that he can have a bit of a fuck you attitude. But we’ll get there. So, apart from Šarec, who’s who in the new pecking order?
With the last of the committee hearings slowly drawing to a close, the newly-minted Slovenian PM Marjan Šarec will submit his entire cabinet for parliamentary approval later this week and presumably get his government up and running. Thus a protracted three-month episode which culminated in a five-member coalition and a minority government, supported by the left-most party in the parliament, will finally come to an end. But, in the words of the worst British finance minister of the 20th century, this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of an end. But it is, perhaps, an end of a beginning.
Marjan Šarec impersonating a PM (left) and being one. (source and source)
While this blog was mum due to vacay, pengovsky did a few media appearances on the coalition clusterfuck. Financial Times, The Europeans podcast and The Economist were among the victims (although, to the latter’s credit, apparently my bit got edited out). N1, a Croatian private news network, even had their viewers endure a 15-minute interview where yours truly bumbles along in Croatian. The gist of all this attention was two-fold: how come Janez Janša didn’t get to be PM and how come Šarec did?
In a development that came as a surprise to a grand total of zero people (save possibly to the man himself), president Pahor announced on Monday that he will not be nominating a candidate for the post of prime minister. With this, the first round of attempts to form a government following the election on 3 June came to an end.
Despite the brouhaha that surrounded the event, nothing spectacular had in fact happened. Other than the fact that The Prez has once again talked himself into a corner out of which there was no clean way out which is why he resorted to fear-mongering and his drama-queen act.
In what came as a bit of a shock late on Tuesday evening, the executive council of the SMC voted unanimously to expel from the party its No.2 man and former Speaker of the parliament Milan Brglez. Official explanation, as lacking as it was, cited “actions contravening decisions of the executive council” (*breaks open a bag of popcorn*).
For his part, Brglez was quick to take to social media and decry the move as stifling of dissent within the party and hinted (or, rather painted in big fat letters) that he was being purged because he opposed SMC going in coalition with Janez Janša’s SDS. The SMC, naturally, didn’t see it that way.