By: Sara Rančigaj
In a secret ballot, Igor Zorčič remained the President of the National Assembly. However, there are already calls from the public that it would be politically correct to resign in this case, as he is no longer part of the government coalition. According to the current practice, the position of the President of the National Assembly has always belonged to the coalition. Nevertheless, Zorčič is convinced that he is doing the right thing with his actions, however, the question arises whether his interests are really state forming. Namely, the position of the President of the National Assembly brings a higher salary than other MPs, and he also has a personal driver and police protection. His predecessors Matej Tonin and Dejan Židan had no problems resigning.
On Friday, President of the National Assembly Igor Zorčič, together with MPs Janja Sluga and Branislav Rajić, resigned from the parliamentary group of the coalition SMC. Together with MP Jurij Lep, who left the DeSUS parliamentary group, they started the process of establishing a parliamentary group of unaffiliated MPs, thus opening calls for him to resign as President of the National Assembly, as he no longer belongs to the government coalition.
The vote on the replacement of the President of the National Assembly Igor Zorčič failed, one vote was missing for his replacement. There are more and more criticisms against Zorčič, many are convinced that he should resign himself. But many of the privileges that come with being the president of the legislature are clearly too enticing for him to give up. This was done in the past by former Presidents of the National Assembly Dejan Židan and Matej Tonin, who said in his resignation that it was an honour for him to perform the function of President. When the time comes, it is necessary to say goodbye honourably, but Zorčič does not have that intention.
According to the current practice, the position of the President of the National Assembly has always belonged to the coalition. However, the President of the National Assembly, who is no longer part of the coalition, seems to be deliberately ignoring this, as he does not want to resign and tries to create the outward impression that his replacement is an attempt to take over the government. “The demand that the position of President of the National Assembly belongs to a minority coalition has no constitutional or business basis. They do not know that anywhere in the world,” Zorčič is convinced.
Among other things, he said that with his non-resignation he was trying to “defend the National Assembly against a government takeover”. Reasons that he does not want to resign may be elsewhere. The President of the National Assembly receives the highest salary among all MPs. In July 2020, Zorčič received 5,706 euros as President of the National Assembly. The President of the National Assembly is also entitled to a functional allowance, which is determined according to the permanent duties in the National Assembly and its working bodies and parliamentary groups.
The President of the National Assembly is also entitled to a car with a driver and personal protection
In addition to the highest salary and allowances, the President of the National Assembly is also entitled to a car with a driver or use the car in accordance with the Decree on the designation of persons and facilities protected by internal affairs bodies and on performing security tasks. In addition to his personal driver, Zorčič also has police protection.