Analysts Claim Cerar Quitting Could Help His Party in the Election

By , 15 Mar 2018, 16:48 PM Politics
Cerar in less troubled times Cerar in less troubled times Flickr - Raul Mee (EU2017EE) CC by 2.0

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The SMC can now walk away from a difficult situation, play victim, and dominate the media cycle. 

STA, March 15, 2018 – Analyst Matevž Tomšič has told the STA that PM Miro Cerar has obviously realised that he has lost control of the situation and that the coalition does not work any more. His colleague Alem Maksuti believes that the resignation is a strategic move by the SMC party, which could attract a few votes more by playing the victim role.

Tomšič of the Nova Gorica-based School of Advanced Social Studies is surprised by the resignation as it happened just before the end of the term, but it is not surprising if the recent situation is taken into account.

The fact that the Supreme Court has annulled the result of the referendum on the Koper-Divača second rail track project because of the government's privileged position in the campaign is a huge blow given the fact that Cerar is a constitutional jurist, he noted.

According to Tomšič, the late hour at which Cerar announced his resignation yesterday is very interesting. One could conclude that he was in a dilemma whether to do it or not, and the decision was obviously "triggered from the inside".

Cerar was critical of the coalition partners and he only revealed "urbi et orbi" what has been speculated for a while - that the coalition does not work anymore, that it exists only on paper and that every party is working on its own.

"Cerar has obviously realised that he has lost control of the situation," Tomšič, assessing that Cerar's referring to the non-cooperativeness of the coalition partners did not seem convincing.

Alem Maksuti of the Institute for Political Management meanwhile assessed that the resignation was a very well thought out move by the Modern Centre Party (SMC), which has found itself in a situation it could not get out of.

The senior coalition party had problems with the Koper-Divača project, reform in healthcare was put on hold and negotiations with public sector trade union is at a dead end. The party did not want to take responsibility for everything that is wrong, he said.

"The party will get the most media attention, which is a plus ahead of the general election. It will try to present itself as the biggest victim, as the prime minister said himself, of some old structures and centres from behind the scenes, which want a stalemate position."

Maksuti believes that this way the SMC could get a few votes more in the election, and that this is "de facto the only correct strategy". The party is in a position where it hopes it can get at least a third of the vote it got four years ago (close to 35%).

Commenting on the critical words from Cerar towards the coalition partners, he said that the unofficial part of the election campaign had already started and that there were no more friends.

Bridges between the coalition partners have been demolished and the closest and most similar players will go head to head in the election. This is why Maksuti expects even more finger pointing and smear campaign in the coming days.

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