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Monday, July 4, 2022

Police, army and defence intel chiefs dismissed

The Janez Janša government dismissed the heads of the police force, the armed forces and of the Defence Ministry’s intelligence and security service OVS at its maiden session early on Saturday.

Addressing reporters after the session, Defence Minister Matej Tonin announced the decision on the dismissals of Police Commissioner Tatjana Bobnar, Chief of the General Staff Major General Alenka Ermenc and OVS director Dejan Matijevič.

Ermenc’s successor is yet to be appointed with her deputy, Brigadier Robert Glavaš, 58, taking over for the interim period.

Anton Travner, a security expert who has served with the Geneva Centre for Security Centre Governance (DCAF) as head of Border Security Programme for Southeast Europe, was appointed acting police commissioner.

Ermenc and Bobnar were the first women to head the army and police force. They were both appointed by the Marjan Šarec government.

Andrej Osolnik was appointed OVS director for a five-year term.

The government also made several other appointments with Božo Predalič returning as government secretary general. He will also represent Slovenia as a sole stakeholder in state-owned companies, according to a press release issued after the government session.

Kristina Plavšak Krajnc was dismissed as director of the Government Communication Office (UKOM) with Miro Petek, a former MP and press officer for Janša’s Democratic Party (SDS) named as acting director.

As is usual, the heads of junior coalition partners, who also serve as ministers, were named deputies to the PM; Zdravko Počivalšek (Modern centre Party), Matej Tonin (New Slovenia) and Aleksandra Pivec (Pensioners’ Party).

Several state secretaries have also been appointed with diplomat Igor Senčar, SDS MP Žan Mahnič and Vinko Gorenak, a former SDS MP and interior minister, appointed as state secretaries in the PM’s office.

Franc Kangler, the former Maribor mayor, was named state secretary in the Interior Ministry, while Gašper Dovžan and Tone Kajzer were appointed state secretaries at the Foreign Ministry, and Damijan Jaklin and Uroš Lampret will be state secretaries at the Defence Ministry.

Peter Ješovnik and Kristina Šteblaj were named Finance Ministry state secretaries and Aleš Cantarutti was reappointed one of the state secretaries at the Economy Ministry along with Simon Zajc, who has so far served as environment minister.

Andrej Možina, the former head of the Medical Chamber, was named state secretary at the Health Ministry, and Blaž Košorok, the former CEO of the power utility HSE, was appointed state secretary at the Infrastructure Ministry, among others.

Lilijana Kozlovič, who was appointed justice minister last night, is being replaced as the head of the Environment Agency by Iztok Slatinšek as acting director.

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