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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

When the deep state is pressuring and buying the MPs, the “rule of law” oversight bodies look away

by Sara Kovač (Nova24TV)

The interests of the deep state really are big. Not only are the opposition parties eager to slander the government whenever possible, but the Court of Audit of the Republic of Slovenia and the Commission for the Prevention of Corruption are also actively investigating the procurement of medical equipment. While in the case of the laundering of Iranian money in the amount of one billion euros, no one has yet been held accountable for the damages caused, things are apparently moving much faster in the case of procurement of medical equipment. Given that practically not a day goes by without at least one person insulting the government, it seems that some people do not even care that we are in the middle of an epidemic of the novel coronavirus.

“It is incredible how keen the Court of Audit and the Commission for the Prevention of Corruption (Komisija za preprečevanje korpucije – referred to as the KPK) are on investigating of the purchasing of medical equipment, but not the purchasing of the MPs. A mad country,” the SDS MP Alenka Jeraj commented on the situation. With this, the MP also referred to the pressuring of certain coalition MPs. The Constitutional Arch Coalition (Koalicija ustavnega loka – referred to as “KUL,” which translates to “cool”), is working tirelessly, in order to gather the necessary votes. As it still does not have a sufficient number of MPs on its side, it is exerting pressure.

From the 15th of December onwards, they began to exert additional pressure. At that time, the news broke that the KPK has launched 21 investigations into suspected violations of the official’s integrity, following a thematic inspection of the procurement of protective equipment. Among others, the KPK launched an investigation of Minister of the Economy Zdravko Počivalšek, former state secretary Aleš Cantarutti, and former employee of the Agency of the Republic of Slovenia for Commodity Reserves, Ivan Gale. Gale is, of course, being used as a disguise. It is perfectly clear that the main target is the President of the SMC party and the Minister of Economic Development and Technology, Zdravko Počivalšek. It is also interesting that the investigations coincided with Marjan Šarec and his LMŠ party expressing their support for Karl Erjavec as the Prime Minister. The opposition left has announced its intention to file a constructive vote of no confidence against the government of Janez Janša.

After DeSUS decided to leave the government, following various pressures from all sides, the deep state realised that there are still simply not enough votes and that it would also need to get the votes from the ranks of the SMC parliamentary group. They certainly did not like the fact that Počivalšek dared to say STOP to the KUL coalition, which is hungry for power. On the 18th of December, Počivalšek once again confirmed that the SMC parliamentary group had unanimously decided not to support the possible candidacy of the DeSUS President Erjavec for the mandate of the new government. “Our party is currently preparing a strategic and programme platform for our future operation. Slovenia needs to recover, and it needs everyone’s support to be able to do so,” he also added. In a Facebook post that was published on Wednesday, the 23rd of December 2020, Počivalšek reiterated that the party members are united in their decision. “SMC is stable and reliable, despite the threats and intimidations,” he wrote.

The atmosphere is reminiscent of some other time and authorities
SMC MP Gregor Perič was a guest on the show Odkrito (revealed) on TV Slovenija 3, where he pointed out the growing pressures that are being put on the SMC deputies to join the Constitutional Arch Coalition and support Karl Erjavec as the Prime Minister-designate. “We are getting mail to our homes, e-mails, various threats have also been made, as well as tricky offers. We are reaching a sort of a boiling point in this political scene,” he said, adding that the whole thing has gone too far. He believes that the other deputies are not talking about this because they are afraid that things will get even worse. But unlike them, he decided to speak up, he said. After the news broke on Tuesday that a banner was hung in front of the SMC MP Perič’s home, with the inscription that reads: “Gregor Perič, hero or traitor?” it became clear that the people behind the KUL coalition are growing more and more nervous.

However, it seems that Perič was not particularly shaken up by this, as he wrote on Facebook that “the arm twisting of certain deputies has become something completely normal.” “The current atmosphere is reminiscent of some other time and some other authorities,” he added. Perič was also a guest on the show Tema dneva (Topic of the day) on Nova24TV, where he revealed that the other deputies are also receiving similar threats, which, according to him, have crossed the line of good taste. He also spoke about the unity of the SMC party and said that they are a liberal party, that they talk about everything, and that they are united, however, this does not mean that they all think alike. He added that it is important for a party to act sort of like a national sports team, and that the people who work on the state level should also operate following a similar model.

A dream offer for Gregor Židan
After the SMC MP Gregor Židan decided to leave the SMC party and join the Social Democrats, the leader of the SMC parliamentary group Janja Sluga and Minister Počivalšek said that Židan stated that he decided to switch parties because he had received a dream offer he simply could not refuse. Despite the rumours surrounding his decision, Židan mournfully explained that for him, the dream offer was that he would join the Social Democrats on their way to victory in the next parliamentary elections. “I left the SMC party because my conscience dictated it. Nothing was promised to me; this was my personal decision. I did not receive any money for this, not any other promises,” Židan insisted.

Given that they have apparently successfully pressured Židan into changing parties, the question arises, as to what are they really offering the MPs, in order to get them to join the KUL coalition. The appetites are clearly great; namely, we are at a time when decisions will have to be made on the distribution of the European funds. In a conversation with Nova24TV, in connection with the long-awaited revision of the report on the purchase of protective equipment and medical devices, the President of the Court of Audit, Tomaž Vesel, assured us that the Court of Audit is an independent institution and that they will also prove it. Let’s hope that the guiding principle of the institution remains professionalism, and not acting according to certain political lines with the interest of the deep state in mind, which is willing to do just about anything to achieve its goals. An investigation into the pressures that are being put on the SMC MPs would undoubtedly be appropriate right now, as such actions are downright inadmissible.


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