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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Designated Survivor: Slovenian Edition

Shocking journalists around the world Europe who after more than a decade again had to struggle with the difference between Slovenia and Slovakia, prime ministers of both countries tendered their resignations yesterday within hours of each other. Pengovsky being pengovsky, however, we’ll skip Slovenia Slovakia and just do Muddy Hollows where Miro Cerar resigned on the heels of a court annulment of results of the referendum of the second line of the Koper-Divača railway.


…with apologies to Kiefer Sutherland

The gist of it is that while the government won the vote back in September of last year, it failed to win the constitutional challenge of the result, owing to some very weird and novel interpretations of the constitution and referendum legislation. Be that as it may, the Supreme Court, following the decision of the Constitutional Court, decided that the campaign was not fair (specifically, the government’s role in it) hence the result is invalidated and the vote should be repeated. However, there’s more to that than meets the eye.

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Lunatics Have Taken Over The Asylum (Policy)

It takes a special sort of naiveté to look at the last ten days in Muddy Hollows and see it as anything but a shameless run for cheap political points. The matter at hand is the issue of one Ahmat Shani, a Syrian refugee who ended up in Slovenia where the state is refusing to process his asylum application and is now facing deportation to Croatia.


Ahmad Shami (source)

Ahmad Shami was a part of the 2015 refugee exodus which – despite numerous warning signs – caught the EU more or less unawares and scrambling for stop-gap solutions, hobbling the Schengen area and inducing levels of panic and overreaction not seen since, well, the eurozone crisis. But Ahmad Shami probably cared less about that than getting to safety and making sure his immediate family could follow in his footsteps.

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Chemin De re-Fer-endum

As the world watches the Teutonic Vote unfold today there’s another, albeit slightly less dramatic ballot taking place as the good people of Muddy Hollows are registering their preference in a referendum on the second rail track of the Divača-Koper railway.


(source)

Now, pengovsky wrote this one up some-place else (here’s an awkward and sometimes unintentionally profound Google translation) so suffice it to say here this is the sort of infrastructure project politicos usually foam at the mouth for. You know: big constructions with big machinery and big price tags where a casual observer could be forgiven for thinking he or she waded into a Freudian clinic.

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Storm In A Populist Teacup

For a few long moments on Thursday it seemed as if the government of Miro Cerar drew its last breath. The issue at hand was an agreement between the minister of health Milojka Kolar Celarc and the FIDES, the medical doctors’ trade union (not to be confused with Victor Orban’s Fidesz) which ostensibly put an end to the MDs’ week-long strike. The thing is that at the same time the other public sector unions were negotiating with the government on rolling back austerity measures and getting what they see is their due. On top of that the doctors, unusually, weren’t getting a pass by the public opinion which normally forgave their antics regardless of how baseless they may have been (because doctors and shit). All of this while the government was about to unveil a much-anticipated draft of health-sector reform, a move which by definition makes a lot of players with plenty of vested interest, mighty nervous. But in the end, it all amounted to nothing.

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The Three Amigos (source, source and source)

Namely, while Karl Erjavec of DeSUS and Dejan Židan of SD were raising hell in the last couple of days on account of minister Kolar Celarc supposedly agreeing to exempt the doctors from a mechanism that regulates wages across the entire public sector, the true reasons for the entire circus were purely political and aimed at obscuring the fact that both junior coalition parties can ill afford parliamentary elections right now, for reasons both political and financial. And this, more or less goes for all political parties with the possible exception of the SMC.

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