Red Tuesday

Well, that escalated quickly. Last Tuesday shit started hitting the fan and Dominika Švarc Pipan began naming names. Social Democrats, who wanted DŠP gone, pronto, were getting increasingly rankled by the story that just wouldn’t go away and went into crisis mode over the weekend. And yesterday afternoon Klemen Žibert, SD secretary general and the person DŠP said was behind all of this, resigned his post.

An image of a calendar, dipped in thick red colour, with the word Tuesday on it, but with leters SD and A replaced with logo of Social Democrats and Levica's red star
Fun times for SD and Levica. It that is your idea of fun, of course.

And then, to everyone’s surprise Levica parliamentary group gave Miha Kordiš an opportunity for a career alternative enhancement. Without the right to parole. The two events are seemingly unconnected. At least on the surface. But scratch deeper and things suddenly start influencing one another.

Klemen Žibert most definitely did not want to resign. In fact, the Social Democrats did everything in their power to make sure he didn’t have to resign. You see, these days, party presidents are a dime a dozen. But party secretary generals? That’s a whole different kettle of fish.

Party CEO

A party sec-gen is like it’s CEO. Nominally, they are subordinate to the board or the president (or, in the case of SD, to both). But in reality a sec-gen is an independent operator with a lot of power and influence. And by most accounts, Klemen Žibert was an effective SD sec-gen. Maybe not a visionary, but seeing as vision is the one thing SD sorely lacks in general, that wasn’t really a problem. Until now.

Word leaked that immediately after the real estate deal that precipitated this entire clusterfuck was sealed, Žibert’s septuagenarian father bought a glitzy flat in downtown Ljubljana. The price tag? A cool 1.2 million units of the common currency. And then additional words leaked that the Žibert family, despite their nominally modest means seem to be doing exceptionally well, real-estate-wise.

But while Žibert could have (and probably would have) survived the media onslaught that followed, SD rank and file were starting to get antsy. They started asking questions and didn’t like the (non)answers. And seeing how the party depends on these people to do the footwork before the election, Žibert realised he better fall on his sword.

Too little too late

Sacrificing Žibert, however, may turn out to not be enough. If SD boss Tanja Fajon were to cashier him the moment Dominika Švarc Pipan produced the receipts, she might have been in a position to salvage the situation. But she didn’t and she isn’t.

In fact, it could well happen that Fajon herself might be in some danger, despite her best efforts to avoid that exact scenario. The SD is on the brink of a civil war and if Fajon cannot bring the two sides together, fast, she will have to pick one and fight for it tooth and nail.

As both readers know the SD Eastern Faction has been looking for ways to get rid of Fajon, expeditiously. And now, they might conjure up some sort of a complaint that could terminate her status as the SD big kahuna.

Cashiering Couch Guevara

Which brings us to Miha Kordiš falling out of the Levica parliamentary group. Well, he didn’t really so much fall out as he is being pushed and shoved out.

It seems the parliamentary group was getting sick and tired of his antics. Apparently, things were so bad that even the two MPs belonging to the same Marxist/revolutionary faction of Levica as Kordiš, wanted him packed off to a gulag.

If we are to believe the official Levica line, Kordiš tried to intercede for a friend in an employment procedure. And apparently this was a faux pas of such proportions that Couch Guevara just has to get the boot.

Obviously, this was just a pretext for the second phase of removing Kordiš as far away from centers of Levica power as possible. The first one happened when Kordiš lost out to Asta Vrečko in the bid to take over as party chairman coordinator. He didn’t take the loss well and started sulking, leading up to this moment.

For his part, Kordiš is doing his best Nick the Greek impersonation. That is, playing dumb as fuck and claiming he has no idea what’s going on. He also said that he has no intention of quitting the Levica group. And he has every right not to, technically.

But while he may think that, he may soon find that being ostracised within the group is worse than formally joining the ranks of independent MPs.

A vote against

Levica may have chosen today to do away with Kordiš thinking that the SD story will use up most of the oxygen. If so, they are probably right. But that doesn’t mean there will be no scrutiny of Levica shenanigans.

More importantly, however, if Kordiš really gets his marching orders, PM Robert Golob has one less sure-fire vote in the parliament. Not that he could count on Kordiš 100% of the time, but as of today, Kordiš should be assumed to be a vote against Golob until proven otherwise.

Which would not really be a biggie if it weren’t for the implicit threat of SD walking out of the coalition altogether.

Newton’s Third Law

If the SD really quit Team Golob, the new parliamentary tally would have suddenly left the Big Bird with only 44 votes, two short of a majority.

And it would seem the SD have realised that. Suddenly they started started fussing about some minor pieces of legislation, just to make a point. Moreover, SD parliamentary group chief Jani Prednik (he of the SD Eastern Coalition) today hinted that SD MPs just might support further investigations into Golob’s businesses from his pre-politics era.

What we are seeing here is a political manifestation of Newton’s third law. As in physics, in politics, too, every action has its opposite reaction. It’s just that action and reaction in politics are not always equal.

This is by no means over. The fact that Golob and SD leadership are meeting today to debate the issue tête-à-tête for the first time tells you as much.

Shots are being fired and shells are still flying across bows. But if this goes on much longer, sooner or later someone will hit the hull.

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Agent provocateur and an occasional scribe.