Two months after Tatjana Bobnar gave him the finger, PM Robert Golob has a new interior minister. After all was said and done, Boštjan Poklukar took the reins of the civilian end of the security apparatus once more.
Poklukar returning to the post he held during the Šarec administration begs for a good Police Academy-related pun. Alas, pengovsky couldn’t come up with anything that wouldn’t raise an eyebrow. So let’s just say that the man’s second stab at the job clears up a couple of points both readers will remember from previous posts on this clusterfuck.
First and foremost, it is not as if Robert Golob’s HR office was inundated with applications. Which is not really surprising, given that Bobnar and Golob made quite a ruckus back in December. Very few people are ambitious enough or stupid enough to clean up after that particular political car-crash.
And while there were apparently a few names in the mix, Poklukar was the only one remotely suitable for the job. Which is not a compliment.
Sanja Ajanović Hovnik, serving as interim interior minister after Bobnar walked out, would have probably been a better fit. But the Big Bird decided he needs her handling public sector wage reform. So no dice.
Media also reported that Golob talked to Aleš Zalar and Miroslav Žaberl. The former was interim interior minister in 2011 while the latter is a professor with Faculty of Criminal Studies and Security. Neither got the job offer.
Which means Poklukar was the only viable candidate almost from the get-go. Which in turn probably means Damir Črnčec really did have a hand in this.
J. Edgar Črnčec
Rumours swirled that Črnčec, state secretary to defence minister Marjan Šarec and the right side of his brain, was scheming to push Bobnar out. Allegedly, because he would like to become the Big Daddy of the security and intelligence community.
Kind of like J. Edgar Hoover. But probably without the pink underwear. Not judging, tho…
But even if Črnčec is not the force behind the upheaval at the ministry of interior, Poklukar’s appointment sure as fuck makes it look that way.
Not in the least because Črnčec and Poklular go way back. All the way to the Faculty of Criminal Studies and Security, where Črnčec mentored Poklukar for his M.A. He was also the one who recommended Poklukar to Marjan Šarec for the interior ministry gig back in 2018.
Črnčec vigorously denied having anything to do with the Bobnar Blowout. And yes, we all remember the tweet. In light of this, one would expect him to go out of his way to maintain this appearance. But apparently not. Either he really is behind all of this, and doesn’t care about optics; or he isn’t but doesn’t know how to fix it.
In both cases, it is bad politics. And as a side-note: if Črnčec’s security analytical abilities are as bad as his political analytical abilities, Muddy Hollows may be in deeper shit than previously thought.
More to the point, however, it was even worse politics from PM Robert Golob.
First, he fucked up royally by pushing out a popular and competent interior minister. I mean, how often do you see adjectives “popular” and “competent” describe the same minister of anything, let alone the one handling the security apparatus.
Second, he took his sweet fucking time finding a replacement. Sure, maybe there weren’t any takers. But at the very least, the Big Bird could have snuck this episode into the reconstruction of his government a couple of weeks ago. Instead, he had to go to the parliament for an extra dose of pain. True, the SDS walked out because reasons, but still.
Third, Golob just made a huge dent in his relationship with a big part of the civil society, who played a key part in ousting Janez Janša from power. Namely, when Poklukar’s name entered the mix, several prominent NGOs went ballistic. The Apex Aviary ignored them. This is most likely not fatal, but it is not a good omen for the future of this relationship,
And finally, with all of this, one of the largest and most complex government systems is again headed by a man whose CV could plausibly be turned into a haiku.