Sanjonara Ajanović Hovnik

Welp, that was fast. Last time around pengovsky indicated his belief that the beleaguered (embattled?) minister of public administration will eventually resign. Or at least be dismissed, despite all of her boss’ assurances to the contrary. But even this blogger didn’t think that it would happen this fast. Earlier today, after additional allegations against her came to light, Sanja Ajanović Hovnik tendered her resignation.

Sanja Ajanović Hovnik is no longer the minister of public administration
Sanja Ajanović Hovnik quit her post (source)

Either reader will remember that the exact quote was “whoever thinks that Golob can sugar-coat the inevitable departure of Sanja Ajanović Hovnik with a wider cabinet reshuffle should be fired on the spot for incompetence.” And indeed, not only has the minister quit, PM Robert Golob is now left with a giant political turd in his hands. Mostly of his own doing.

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Asta Vrečko, Chairwoman of the Politburo

Since pengovsky is still playing catch-up, one of the events left to process is Asta Vrečko taking over as Levica… President? Chairwoman? Coordinatress? Whatever her title, the minister of culture is now leader of the left-most coalition party. Which should not come as a surprise to either reader of this here blog.

Culture minister Asta Vrečko delivering her address during Culture Day celebrations in February 2023. She now takes over as Levica leader.
Asta Vrečko as minister of culture in February 2023 (source)

It was obvious that Vrečko was being primed for a leadership position in Levica. If not sooner, since her pilgrimage to Čebine back in April. Somewhat more surprising was the change in leadership happening so quickly. Surprising to this scribe, at least. Back in April pengovsky thought the transition was at least a couple of years away. Little did he know that Levica bolsheviks would scare the shit out Luka Mesec in less than four months’ time.

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Janša’s Gift To Robert Golob

The one thing Robert Golob and his coalition really needed right now was a pep talk. You know, like Al Pacino in Any Given Sunday. Or Captain America in Avengers: Endgame. Or Sean Connery in The Hunt For The Red October. Instead, they got Janez Janša and his SDS holding a whole-day government accountability debate. Which, as it turns out, was almost as good.

PM Robert Golob responding to Janez Janša's criticism of his government.
Golob addressing Janša directly (source: M. Sušnik/Nat’l Assembly)

The technical term for this is interpellation. It is set out in Article 250 of parliamentary rules and procedures, for all you nerds out there. But in a move that was as pointless as it was petty, the Party invoked it against the entire government. With this, they ensured the whole thing would have no repercussions at all. And they only did it to cut the NSi off at the pass, anyhow.

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The Second Government Of Robert Golob

Eight-and-a-half months passed since Robert Golob got the keys to his new office. And last week, he finally got the government he needs. But whether it is one he deserves, remains to be seen. But with twenty ministers, the Big Bird’s second executive is the most numerous since the days of Lojze Peterle.

PM Robert Golob with his upgraded cabinet.
Team Golob 2.0 (source)

This inflation of top-level postings is a byproduct of coalition haggling. Specifically, it was Robert Golob making sure Tanja Fajon and Luka Mesec brought home some serious bacon. This was meant to offset the dismal showing by both leaders’ parties in April election. But Team Golob 2.0 is also a consequence of shifting political priorities.

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Once More Unto The Referendum Breach, Dear Friends

Apologies for abusing The Bard, but the upcoming referendum votes do have a tinge of Shakespearean drama to it. Or maybe it is the Shakespearean length of this post. Who knows. To quote Hamlet, fuck it. Going to the polls for the third time in as many weeks, and for the fifth time in eight months, is not a regular occurrence in Muddy Hollows.

Shepherd boy with flute symbolises RTVSLO. The fate of the public broadcaster in Slovenia will be determined on a referendum on Sunday.
Shepherd boy with flute, by Zdenko Kalin, symbolising RTVSLO since forever. But for how long? (source)

And yet, this Sunday might prove to be just as crucial as the April parliamentary election was. For those of you living under a rock for the past few months, Slovenians are about vote in three different referendums on Sunday. There is a vote in the Government Act, on the law on elderly care, and the law on RTVSLO, the public broadcaster. A fucking cornucopia of direct democracy if there ever was one. But there is a catch. Because of course there is.

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