Slovenia’s Interior Minister Has Resigned, But May Stay On

By , 09 Jul 2020, 12:38 PM Politics
Aleš Hojs Aleš Hojs

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STA, 8 July 2020 - Parliament did not receive a formal notification of Interior Minister Aleš Hojs's 30 July resignation by the Tuesday midnight deadline. This raises the question of whether PM Janez Janša did not accept it and whether Hojs is staying on. The Prime Minister has seven days to inform the speaker about a minister's resignation.

Parliamentary Speaker Igor Zorčič confirmed for the STA on Wednesday that the National Assembly had not received the formal written notification.

The notification is a basis on which MPs get acquainted with the resignation, thus making it effective.

The Prime Minister's office has not yet provided an explanation, while Hojs said when asked whether he was staying on, that this was in the Prime Minister's hands.

He told the press as he arrived for a government session this morning that he and Janša had not discussed whether he would perhaps like to stay on.

Hojs thus does not know whether Janša has accepted his resignation, but said that when he had tended the resignation, he had understood Janša accepted it.

Hojs understands he is apparently still minister if the Prime Minister has not sent the resignation to Parliament.

The minister stepped down on 30 June when the police carried out several house searches, including at the home of Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek, as part of a probe into alleged wrongdoing in the procurement of personal protection equipment during the epidemic.

Hojs, who told the press then that "the Prime Minster has accepted my irrevocable resignation", had assessed the probe was politically motivated and "assumed political responsibility" for it by irrevocably resigning together with the police commissioner.

Had the resignation notification arrived in parliament by the deadline, the National Assembly would have put it on the agenda of the plenary which starts tomorrow.

It now also remains to be seen what happens with a dismissal motion four left-leaning opposition parties filed against Hojs after the Interior Ministry lifted a ban on a concert by controversial Croatian singer Marko Perković Thompson.

Hojs sent his reply to the interpellation motion to parliament on 24 June. If the National Assembly does not get the notification of his resignation, the motion could be put on the parliament's September plenary.

The four opposition parties are critical of the Hojs development, with the largest one, the Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ) saying the minister and the government were making fun not only of the opposition, but also of citizens and all institutes Slovenia has.

The parties will insist on the dismissal motion. "I believe we'll successfully defend the dismissal motion in September if Hojs does not step down," said Matjaž Han, Social Democrat (SD) deputy group head.

Just like the LMŠ, the SD believes Janša's not sending the resignation notification to parliament is a smokescreen diverting the people's attention from more important issues, such as the fourth stimulus package, which that be debated in parliament tomorrow.

In "a normal government" sending a resignation notification to parliament should be business as usual, said Jernej Pavlič of the Alenka Bratušek Party (SAB).

Similarly, the Left believes this shows the government and the prime minister are incompetent, being unable to send a piece of paper to parliament in seven days.

Deputy group head Matej T. Vatovec said missing the deadline while Hojs publicly resigned was "problematic, encroached on democratic standards, creating confusion between the government and parliament".

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