By: Sara Rančigaj /Nova24TV
RTV Slovenija is becoming a real battleground for the occupation of the throne of the new director. There are three names in the game, the existing director Igor Kadunc, KUL’s candidate Natalija Gorščak, and SMC’ candidate Andrej Grah Whatmough. According to Požareport, Grah Whatmough is missing only one vote, but Kadunc is struggling with “all four”.
A vote on the new director of national television will take place on Monday. Among the candidates there are the current director Igor Kadunc, as well as Natalija Gorščak and the chairman of the supervisory board Andrej Grah Whatmough. According to Požareport, the situation is extremely aggravated, and there are also serious clashes behind the scenes. The future director must collect 15 votes of the councillors of the programme council to win the election.
Požar states that Chairman of the Supervisory Board Grah Whatmough has secured 14 votes, meaning he only needs one more. Grah Whatmough was elected as a member of the programme council on the proposal of the SMC, and in the candidacy for director, according to the portal, he is an unofficial candidate of the government coalition. In all likelihood, the candidate could get votes from Rok Hode (SMC), Petra Ložar (SMC) and Marija Matilda Ocvirk Orešnik (ZDUS), who otherwise should “had” to vote against Kadunc in November, however, due to the pressure from the opposition, the media and also due to mutual settlements they refrained from voting.
Kadunc only sees himself as a suitable director
Despite the support of the SMC, programme councillor Hodej is said to have sided with Kadunc, as he believes that Grah Whatmough does not have enough formal experience to run a “large public institution RTV”, although he has been chairman of the RTV supervisory board for many years. On the other hand, Hodej had no issue that Kadunc had enclosed only a certificate of a rapid French course from 1981 at the time of his application, despite the requirement of a valid certificate of knowledge of a foreign language. According to Požar, Kadunc allegedly wrote a negative opinion to many programme councillors about Grah Whatmough and Gorščak, as he only sees himself as a suitable director, despite the huge losses incurred by public television.
Kadunc even announced challengeable lawsuits in the administrative and labour courts if someone else is elected director general of RTV. Požar’s sources also state that some programme councillors received anonyms letters about Grah Whatmough, according to the content of the anonyms letters, Kadunc or Gorščak are allegedly behind them. On his part, it was supposedly a strong lobbying and belief that the programme councillors would vote for him and not for Gorščak, a candidate of the KUL coalition. He obtained this assurance for a new candidacy from Petra Bezjak Cirman, who is the president of the Workers’ Council on RTV and the wife of the editor of the Nezenzurirano portal, Primož Cirman.
Požar states that Gorščak was fired for incompetence
While Gorščak is running for director of RTV, according to Požar, she was fired due to incompetence. “A document from the archives of RTV Slovenia (otherwise a very poor copy) also appeared, which testifies to how Natalija Gorščak, the current director of TVS and the candidate for general director of RTV, had her contract of employment on RTV terminated (2003-04) years ago due to incompetency,” he wrote. Gorščak is expected to return to RTV under the leadership of the new director Ljerka Bizilj, who became her assistant and right-hand man, and replaced her during Marjan Šarec’s mandate, as, according to Požar, she “stabbed Bizilj in the back”.