Tonin Vows to Step Down as Speaker When New Govt Formed

By , 14 Aug 2018, 15:34 PM Politics
Matey Tonin Matey Tonin NSi's Facebook page

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STA, 14 August 2018 - Matej Tonin reiterated his pledge on Tuesday to step aside as speaker of parliament "on the day when a new government will be sworn in", asserting that such was the deal when he was appointed on 22 June. However, if the incoming coalition change their minds, he will not defy them. 

The leader of the conservative New Slovenia (NSi), who was elected speaker as an interim solution until a government coalition is formed, told reporters that he had already written his letter of resignation, except for the date.

His letter was ascertaining "that a government has been formed and appointed by parliament", so he was resigning from the post of speaker "in accordance with the 22 June agreement".

"In this way I will make it possible that a new ministerial team will be elected at the same session, after which parliament will take note of my resignation, to be followed immediately by the election of a new speaker."

He said the understanding in June was that he should serve until a new cabinet is formed and allow the outgoing cabinet to perform his caretaker duties. He said that he had not been notified by the Marjan Šarec-led coalition that the agreement was off.

His comments come in response to the agreement reached by the Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ), Social Democrats (SD), Modern Centre Party (SMC), Alenka Bratušek Party (SAB) and the Pensioners' Party (DeSUS) to name SD leader Dejan Židan as the speaker. His bid will also be backed by the Left.

"If they change their minds in any way, I will very well keep in mind that in this coalition an agreement cannot hold for even for two months. I will certainly not resist," Tonin said, adding: "I'm a man of my word, I believe so are the coalition."

In the meantime Tonin would like to take care of certain business as speaker: "One of the key activities will be forming commission and committees and agreements on the appointment of deputy speakers.

"I also want to bring to life certain administrative and technical acts and decisions that we have drawn up and agreed on with deputy faction heads. I also want to fulfil the previously agreed engagements at the Bled Strategic Forum", scheduled for 10 and 11 September.

Parliament will take a vote on whether to appoint Marjan Šarec as prime minister on Friday. This item on the agenda alone is expected to take about nine hours, but Tonin said he would make sure the vote would be taken before midnight, when the deadline for the second round of PM-designate nomination expires.

Tonin also announced a new session for next Thursday to appoint deputy speakers and all parliamentary commissions and committees, which will then be able to conduct hearings of ministerial nominees.

The hearings will be held on 7 and 10 September, after which a two-day break will follow to draw up the relevant reports. Unless the prime minister decides to replace any nominee, parliament will decide on the appointment of the Šarec government and the new speaker on 13 September.

The executive council of Tonin's NSi advised the party's deputy faction on Monday not to support Šarec's bid to become prime minister in Friday's vote. The NSi had initially been involved in coalition talks with Šarec, but opted against joining the coalition.

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