Bratušek Budget Bruises Brought By Butthurt Bandelli

“I didn’t deserve this” said minister of development and European cohesion policy Marko Bandelli (SAB), butthurt as he announced his resignation on 13 November thus setting off a rocky ten-day period for the government of Marjan Šarec. And while the main event of the last few days were the 2018 local elections and some surprising results, the bad blood between various coalition members burst in the open almost as soon as the polls closed.


Marko Bandelli and Alenka Bratušek (source)

By itself, the Bandelli thing is a pretty straightforward case of the Dunning-Kruger effect in action. The erstwhile mayor of Komen, known for his colourful language and thin skin was a somewhat surprising pick for the non-descript post of assistant beancounter minister for EU cohesion funds. And indeed it turned out that the ambition got the better of him. In fact, we will never know whether Marko Bandelli would have made a good minister without portfolio in charge of EU cohesion funds, because the man turned out to be spectacularly inept at being a senior government official as such.

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Life Imitating Art Imitating Life

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?

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Mechanics of Coalition Building

It has been ten days since election in Muddy Hollows and President Pahor convened the inaugural session of the new parliament for this coming Friday. This means personnel decision are looming and with no coalition deal in sight nervousness is starting to set in.


(source)

What we have seen in the past week or so were polar opposites in approaching the conundrum at hand: One side there is the presumptive PM nominee Janez Janša playing his cards as close to the vest as possible, while on the other side there’s the nominal runner-up Marjan Šarec who is producing all kinds of chatter about “coalition exploration”, “platform compatibility” and other buzzwords du jour.

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2018 Parliamentary Election: Gifts That Keep On Giving

T-14 days and the election campaign in Muddy Hollows is now seeing increased use of heavy artillery, pengovsky did some punditizing on the telly and the debates are about to start coming in thick and fast.


Debate on POP TV on Monday night (source: screencapture)

But before we go into all that, the story that dominated the past week was one this scribe had briefly covered here and has to do with Slovenia turning out to be much more of a banana republic than its indigenous population is willing to admit

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The Game’s Afoot. Again.

Parliamentary election in Slovenia will be held on 3 June. Such was the decision of President of the Republic Borut Pahor last Saturday when he, flanked by his senior advisers, signed the order on dissolution of the parliament and setting the election date. With this the game is now officially afoot. But little in the political dynamic of Muddy Hollows will change in practice as parties and politicians have been on an election footing since middle of the winter, or at the very least since Prime Minister Miro Cerar submitted his surprise resignation and lit a fire under everyone’s asses.


Projected distribution of seats by Volilna napoved poll aggregator, where one can fool around with fantasy coalitions.

While much ink had been spilt over how Slovenia is yet again facing early elections, the date Pahor chose makes this now a moot point. For while it is technically true that elections are being called because of the parliament’s inability/unwillingness to appoint a new prime minister following Cerar’s surprise resignation, election on 3 June also fall within the constitutionally mandated “no sooner than two months and no later than fifteen days before the expiry of four years from the date of the first session of the previous National Assembly” (Article 81) which for all intents and purposes makes this a regular election. Which further proves the point of just how well timed Cerar’s resignation was. Maximum effect with minimum sacrifice.

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