Anyone who is familiar with the anatomy of Slovenia’s deep state, was in no way surprised when, after the fall of Marjan Šarec’s government and the opportunity to form a new government under Janez Janša’s name, all of the mechanisms of the deep state were activated with the sole purpose to once again prevent the forming of a new government by the Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS), which won the last election.
Anyone who has not understood the workings of the deep state so far can now see it happening in real-time, in a sufficiently transparent and understandable way. The British TV show Deep state is a good spy thriller, but the Slovenian deep state »series« is an eerie political thriller.
The Slovenian deep state is, in fact, a parallel and illegal regime. Its members did not get the mandate at the elections, but their power is greater than that of the elected representatives. The official media representative of the deep state Grega Repovž, chief editor of Mladina, has with his statement, »The MPs are not in parliament to form governments,« very frankly and in one sentence told us the whole truth of the Slovenian deep state. With it, he also vulgarly humiliated the elected MPs, but he did state the truth. And since there was no apparent reaction from Parliament to Repovž’s writing, this must mean that the MPs agree.
What are the origins of the deep state?
The government is formed by a network, and we are governed by a network that does not expose their names and surnames at the elections because they don’t have to. This network has no political responsibilities, but it does have great power. It puts people that enable it to follow through with its agenda in the right positions. Its fear of SDS and Janez Janša is immense, as the deep state’s tentacles would be severed if a new government was to be formed. The deep state can not be destroyed overnight, as its roots are far too deep. But the fear of a new, SDS-led government is big because some people would lose their privileges. The deep state found the solution to the problem caused by the unpredictable Šarec in early elections, where – with the right financing, considerable media support, and tailored opinion polls, they could try to salvage their supremacy. The panic of the deep state is big enough for them to resort to violence – different threats have been made to politicians who are facing a decision. The deep state has created such a precise political structure, that only a phone call is enough to change the opinions diametrically. For people have learned and are aware that the deep state can be richly rewarding and also severely punishing.
The modern concept of a deep state has been associated with Turkey since the times of Kemal Atatürk. In Slovenia, the deep state has been present ever since the fall of Yugoslavia and the communist regime. The fact that lustration never happened created the ideal conditions for the deep state to develop. It is made up of interconnected networks of power, which operate independently from the elected leadership or influence and lead the elected leadership in their own interests. Forum 21 is undoubtedly one of the more prominent representatives of the deep state, trying to give off the impression of an ordinary democratic debate circle with its open sessions, but is, in fact, infringing on the economy and politics with its tentacles. Its agenda is getting the appropriate political puppets to parliament: ones that will be helpful and willing to pursue their capital interests and ideological goals. Contrary to other cases of the deep state around the world, where there is at least some effort to try to work in conspiracy, Slovenian deep state is easily recognisable and also substantiated by strong media support. Some of the mainstream media are also part of the deep state, both because of their ownership ties, as well as the fact that the media and their journalists support its activities without any impediment or journalistic, critical distance.
A state within a state that governs Slovenia, is paralysing its development and strengthening the first-class elite, which refuses to give up its privileges, while its first-class nature pushes the majority of the Slovenian population even further into the area of second-class citizens.
Among the influential politicians that circle Milan Kučan, is also Gregor Golobič, a former General Secretary of the LDS and then the President of the Zares party. In the last couple of years, he has become an »uncle in the background.«
When the godfathers »call off« their MPs
It is interesting how some MPs reacted to Repovž’s statement, especially those from the current coalition. Perhaps we should first take a look at the statement, made by NSi’s MP Aleksander Reberšek, who commented on Repovž’s statement for Nova24TV. As he said, the responsibilities of an MP are clearly stated in the Constitution and the Rules of the National Assembly. »On the issue of my independence in the performance of my parliamentary function, Article 82 of the Constitution is my foundation. It states: ‘Deputies of the National Assembly are representatives of all the people and shall not be bound by any instructions.’« Well, a rather naive point of view, since apparently some people are still convinced that everything is in accordance with the Constitution and that the deep state does not really exist. And after all, when trying to pass electoral legislation in accordance with the outcome of the 1996 referendum in the period leading up to 2000, when among three referendum proposals, only the proposal of a two-tier majority voting system won more votes IN FAVOR of it than AGAINST it, members of the National Assembly rejected the adoption of the legislation in accordance with the outcome of the referendum, claiming that in accordance with Article 82, they are not obliged to act in accordance with the results of the referendum. Nor the decision of the Constitutional Court. Sound familiar? We have witnessed the bending of the Constitutional Court’s rulings in recent times as well. So what does that have to do with the MPs and their independence? Perhaps the fact that members from the parties of the transitional left often put themselves above the Constitution, when the interests of the deep state had to be defended. Well, Article 82 of the Constitution actually states that a mandate of the MPs in the National Assembly is representative and that they do not formally represent any interest group, region or municipality in the sense that they could be recalled because of their behaviour. But let us remind you that the deep state knows how to »recall« insubordinate MPs in a different, much more sophisticated, but oftentimes more brutal way.
Repovž told the truth between the lines
But is Repovž’s statement really as absurd, as some legal experts are claiming? If Slovenia was a normal democratic country, we could agree with them, but sadly Repovž is correct in his own right, as he acknowledged that the MPs are only formal confirmators of the Prime Minister, but not actual ones. Quite similar to how it was in the times of self-governing socialism, where the MPs or the delegates of the republican assembly endorsed what was previously decided on by the Central Committee of the Communist Party, as the principle of the democratic centralism was applied, so the decisions made by the CC were binding for all other party and state executive bodies, as well as other socio-political organisations.
Well, the most striking reaction is that of Matjaž Han (SD): »Who else forms a government, if not the MPs.« And: »Thank God we have democracy. Whoever has the majority in the parliament gets to form the government. The government is made up of the majority in parliament, this is normal.« Well, that is a pretty misleading statement, thinking about the fact that the current coalition did not have the majority in the Parliament, and the parties formed the coalition solely on the basis of a pledge to not let the winner of the elections be given the mandate to form a government. And now they are surprised by Mladina’s chief editor’s statement, as he »let it slip« who actually forms the government, and are pointing to democracy and the majority.
Following Stane Dolanc’s guidelines
Marko Bandelli (SAB) was a little bit less misleading in his statement. »Who else could be in charge of forming a government? As I have written on Twitter, the coalition is formed by the parliamentary groups, which consist of the MPs. MPs express the will of the people that elected them, and are competent enough to decide,« he told Nova24TV. And we are back to relying on Slovenia’s formal arrangements, which resembles commenting on the packaging, but not on the content. It is rather »soul-crushing« to see distinguished legal experts, trying to explain how a parliamentary democracy works. Or how it should work. For example, a professor at the Faculty of Law, Miha Pogačnik, who teaches the international law, has very kindly informed Repovž and the public: »A government in a parliamentary democracy is indeed endorsed by the parliament, that is, the MPs that are elected by the people, and the government is held accountable by the MPs, the parliament.« As Pogačnik has stated, the situation in which Slovenian politics found itself after Marjan Šarec’s resignation, is not a dramatic one. »It is also quite common in parliamentary democracies to change the government during the time of a certain parliamentary composition, even several times since it is not sensible or necessary to check the will of the people during shorter periods of time,« he also said. Therefore, early elections are not necessary if a new coalition could be formed, which, to be fair, is often dependent on the electoral system and the number of parties. As the saying goes, too many cooks spoil the broth, and too many parties in the parliament mean more instability.
These are the basics that Repovž probably understands. However, he was clearly instructed to send a message to all of the MPs, to not try to vote by their own conscience and thus form a government that the political godfathers won’t like. As Stane Dolanc said in 1972: »It must be absolutely clear to us that communists hold power in this country. If it’s not us, it would mean that it’s somebody else, but for now, that’s not the case, nor will it ever be.
And the basics of parliamentary democracy?
This is, therefore, the most obvious and public threat to democracy since the formation of independent Slovenia. We must recall the basics of the parliamentary democracy, as explained by Pogačnik, again. »A government in a parliamentary democracy is indeed endorsed by the parliament, that is, the MPs that are elected by the people, and the government is held accountable by the MPs, the parliament,« Pogačnik told Nova24TV and added that this is precisely the role of the MPs: to try to form a new government majority within the statutory deadlines. Otherwise, early elections will happen. »Therefore, a new, more capable, and more effective executive power – a new government must be formed in the shortest possible time, and at the lowest possible cost when a particular government is failing. In the interest of the people, represented by the MPs, and in the interest of the development of the country and the prosperity of the democracy,« Miha Pogačnik stated.
Article 111 of the Constitution of the Republic of Slovenia clearly defines the jurisdictions of the MPs and the National Assembly:
»After consultation with the leaders of deputy groups the President of the Republic proposes to the National Assembly a candidate for President of the Government. The President of the Government is elected by the National Assembly by a majority vote of all deputies unless otherwise provided by this Constitution. Voting is by secret ballot. If such candidate does not receive the necessary majority of votes, the President of the Republic may after renewed consultation propose within fourteen days a new candidate, or the same candidate again, and candidates may also be proposed by deputy groups or a minimum of ten deputies. If within this period several candidates have been proposed, each one is voted on separately beginning with the candidate proposed by the President of the Republic, and if this candidate is not elected, a vote is taken on the other candidates in the order in which they were proposed. If no candidate is elected, the President of the Republic dissolves the National Assembly and calls new elections, unless within forty-eight hours the National Assembly decides by a majority of votes cast by those deputies present to hold new elections for President of the Government, whereby a majority of votes cast by those deputies present is sufficient for the election of the candidate. In such new elections a vote is taken on candidates individually in order of the number of votes received in the earlier voting and then on the new candidates proposed prior to the new vote, wherein any candidate proposed by the President of the Republic takes precedence. If in such elections no candidate receives the necessary number of votes, the President of the Republic dissolves the National Assembly and calls new elections.«
Therefore, if the MPs do have the power to decide on anything at all, now is the time to show it. Unless Repovž is right and the godfathers from the background will decide again.
Miro Petek, Gašper Blažič, Petra Janša