Janez Lenačič, the (current?) Slovenian nominee for commissioner in the upcoming European Commission, had his first hearing in the Slovenian parliament yesterday. As the nomination process is wholly within the government purview, the parliamentary hearing is mostly a dog-and-pony show, intended to appease the grandstanding urges of MPs. Nevertheless, the non-binding vote finally brought to an end to the latest case study in how not to manage human resources.
To say that the entire episode was a shitshow deluxe would be a bit of an understatement. It is incredibly ironic how PM Marjan Šarec was ever so vocal about the bizarre spectacle of shambolic commissioner nomination Muddy Hollows endured in 2014 and yet ended up pretty much in the same place Alenka Bratušek and later Miro Cerar ended up in five years ago.
Remember pengovsky’s rant on how the culture porfolio is almost always an afterthought during government forming in Muddy Hollows? Well, guess what. Turns out Dejan Prešiček (Team Social Democrats) who runs the culture portfolio is seeing his political career hang by a thread due to allegations that include – does this sound familiar? – misuse of a government vehicle.
In fact, the allegations are far more serious than that and include accusations of workplace harassment, mobbing and abuse of office by both the minister and his state secretary. Which is quite an achievement for someone who has only been in office six, nay, five months.
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.
With only days remaining, the 2018 Slovenian parliamentary election campaign continues to underwhelm both in style and substance. There has been precious little movement in top positions in public opinions polls, but as time is running out nervousness is starting to set in, with subtle policy hints and dog-whistles giving way to veritable bullhorns in crude attempts to pick up an additional vote or two.
Parties are promising everything and the moon to their voters. No commitment is too off-the-rails, no slogan is beyond the pale and no lie too bald-faced to serve the purpose. Sometimes it feels as if everyone involved just went off the rocker a bit. But given that between 20 and 45 percent of the electorate remain undecided (depending on which poll you look at), that is probably to be expected.
One of the perennial questions of Slovene election cycles as of late is WWJZD. What will Zoran Janković do. For some reason the mayor of Ljubljana is still considered a force to be reckoned with in national politics and his shadow seems to loom large over for many on the right wing (and some on the left as well), often-times plunging them in a psychosis-like mental state where they being seeing everything that is happening as interventions by the Deep State/Udbomafia/Uncles-in-the-shadows/Lizard people [in a Slavoj Žižek voice] and so on and so on…. And this latest bout paranioia was not helped by Janković’s press conference earlier today where he said he will be somehow getting involved in the national elections
You’d be forgiven for forgetting, but the mayor of Ljubljana still moonlights as president of Positive Slovenia (PS), a party which by virtue of himself as a charismatic leader, some very clever PR and a fair dose of tactical voting, narrowly won the 2011 elections, relegating Janez Janša and his SDS to a runner-up position. In what was a textbook episode of political foolhardiness, Janković however failed to win the prime-ministership for himself, paving the way for Janša 2.0 government. From there on, things only went downhill for Positive Slovenia which has ceased to be a forced to be reckoned with just as fast as it became one.