Igor Zorčič just started his second iteration as speaker of the Slovenian parliament. He was appointed to the post as part of the coalition deal Janez Janša cobbled together in 2020. And he remains in the post in 2021 (at least for now) after quitting the SMC days ago, with Janša’s coalition, now deep in the minority government territory, unable to muster the votes to replaces him. This is serious political survival shit.
Things have been picking up pace in Muddy Hollows for some time now. They really accelerated days ago, however, when Janja Sluga, Brane Rajić and Igor Zorčič quit the SMC and joined forces with Jurij Lep who quit DeSUS and formed a group of independent MPs. The ruling coalition (what’s left of it, anyway) wanted its post back for itself and nominated NSi’s Jožef Horvat to take over. Turns out they were a vote short.
The temper tantrum Slovenian prime minister Janez Janša threw Friday afternoon during a European Parliament hearing only reiterated what was becoming painfully obvious over the last couple of months: In the face of sustained pressure, Marshal Twito is like a broken valve. He’s there but he just can’t hold it together.
For those of you living under a rock: while attending the second installment of a European Parliament hearing on media freedom and rule of law in Slovenia, the Glorious Leader wanted everyone to see a video his propaganda department made. He was denied by chairperson Sophie in ‘t Veld which caused him to throw a hissy fit and cut the video feed. It was pure, unadulterated shitshow.
Someone please tell prime minister Janez Janša to stop writing letters. Every time he writes one he sets himself up for a fuck-up of epic (epidemic?) proportions. This time is no different. Last weekend, Janša co-authored a sharply-worded letter to European Commission and EU Council presidents. Therein he joined PMs of Austria, Czech Republic, Croatia, Latvia and Bulgaria in complaining about delivery of Covid-19 vaccine doses, basically accusing Brussels of lack of solidarity.
Fast forward a couple of days and PM Janša finds himself bitch-slapped by the European Commission, thrown under the bus by Viktor Órban, and in serious trouble at home for skipping on buying available vaccine doses. As a result the Glorious Leader had to change his story as he went along, walk-back his statements and side-step accusations to the point of reaching his daily 10,000 steps and 500 calories many times over.
The one-time PM-hopeful was replaced in the news cycle by the EU parliament debate on media freedom in Slovenia (plus Hungary and Poland), Karl Erjavec quitting DeSUS (again), Zdravko Počivalšek of SMC sending a CYA letter to everyone and Ljudmila Novak of NSi denying that she’s about to launch her own party. And you know what that other British PM had to say about denials.
Matej Tonin has a problem. It is increasingly becoming obvious that the NSi leader and minister of defence views PM Janez Janša first as his boss, and only second as leader of coalition SDS and thus his political equal. The last time an NSi chief saw things this way was during the first Janša government where then-president Andrej Bajuk served as finance minsiter. It did not end well.
Back then the SDS sucked up all the oxygen on the political right in the run-up to the 2008 election. Andrej Bajuk and the NSi didn’t put up a fight and failed to make the parliamentary threshold. It took Ljudmila Novak and a minor miracle for the NSi to regain parliamentary representation four years later. As things stand, she might be forced to step in again.