Dismantling Checks and Balances

News of Lilijana Kozlovič resigning as minister of justice earlier today, or to be precise, the reason for her resignation is yet another proof of what is euphemistically put as “democratic backsliding” in Slovenia. Better described as an increasingly authoritarian rule, the waste Marshal Twito is laying to the system of checks and balances is massive. It will also likely outlast his regime.

Clip-art bearing likeness to Janez Janša, giving finger to the system of checks and balances.
A clip-art bearing suspicious likeness to PM Janša (source)

Given enough time, many fuck-ups of Janez Janša’s third government will be reversed or corrected. The economy will pick up. Various health, social, and educational sub-systems will pull back from the brink. But over the past year or so, the entire system of democratic norms and institutions was put under immense strain, both in terms of baseline behaviour as well as shifting the legal balance of power. If either of these stay the norm – and chances are, they will – Muddy Hollows will be in deep shit regarding the future of its democracy.

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Aleš Hojs in Hotel California

Despite resigning in writing and in no uncertain terms, Aleš Hojs continued as interior minister in the Janša government. This, in spite of the deadline set forth in the parliamentary rules and procedures which state that the PM is required to notify the parliament of the resignation within seven days of a minister’s resignation.

Aleš Hojs writing that he resigns the post, effective immediately. And yet… (source)

As it is the parliament that appoints the ministers, this requirement is not a mere formality. The notification of resignation is to start the constitutional clock on nominating and ultimately appointing a new minister. As of Wednesday, at 0000 hrs, no such notification was forthcoming, meaning Aleš Hojs still gets to be driven in a fancy car with a security detail.

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Wither Hojs

What pengovsky first predicted about a month and a half ago finally happened on Tuesday: Aleš Hojs resigned as interior minister. Hopefully, the door won’t hit him on his way out. Or even if it did, this scribe couldn’t really give a flying fuck.

Interior minister Aleš Hojs (left) and police chief Bojan Travner, both freshly out of their jobs (source)

With Hojs’ resignation a period of internal affairs portfolio being headed by an abrasive, belligerent and uniquely incompetent politician comes to an early end. But while the move was apparently triggered by a police raid chez minister of economy and SMC leader Zdravko Počivalšek over his role in the PPE procurement snafu, the root causes of Hojs getting canned run deeper.

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If You Don’t Like The Way The Table Is Set, Turn Over The Table

To say that today’s resignation of prime minister Marjan Šarec and his call to early election took everyone by surprise would be a gross understatement. It is, in fact, more akin to yelling “fire!” in a crowded theatre, lobbing a canister of mace in the crowd and letting an alligator loose.

PM Šarec during his resignation address (source)

Šarec clearly demonstrated that he gives a grand total of zero fucks about how all of this plays out. Such lack of political self-preservation instinct is a rarity in Muddy Hollows nowadays. That said, however, one must consider the immortal words of Francis Underwood: If you don’t like the way the table is set, turn over the table.

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Turf War

Poor Czechs. They can’t even have a proper senior political turf war without those pesky Slovenians beating them to it. Imagine being in charge of Czechia’s foreign policy, seething over another one of your president’s solo trips to badlands and mulling a response, only to see your counterpart in Ljubljana do the exact same fucking thing, an hour earlier.

Miro beating Tomáš by an hour and half

This is broadly what happened to Czech FM Tomáš Petříček while he was looking for ways to undo the damage president Miloš Zeman did during his visit to Belgrade where he said that he will push for de-recognition of Kosovo by Czechia. However, Zeman wasn’t the only president of a Central European country facing pushback from his foreign minister that day. Cue Borut Pahor. Obviously.

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