PM asks Defence Minister to quit
Prime Minister Miro Cerar has called upon his Defence Minister, Janko Veber, to resign or he will seek his dismissal through parliament. The move comes after it was revealed that the Defence Minister had asked the military Intelligence and Security Service (OVS) to prepare a report on the privatisation of Telekom Slovenije and its sale to a foreign owner.
Veber and his Social Democrat party are the smallest of the three coalition partners in the Miro Cerar government and have been against the privatisation programme. Janko Veber was the only coalition MP to vote against the privatisation programme which covers 15 companies including Telekom Slovenije.
Veber says that he has acted lawfully but the Prime Minister said “His intention may have been legitimate, but he has unfortunately chosen an opaque way to do so.”
The current coalition government includes the Prime Minister’s Modern Centre Party (SMC) formerly the Party of Miro Cerar with 36 seats, the Democratic Party of Pensioners of Slovenia (DeSUS) with 10 seats and the Social Democrats (SD) with six seats. The government was formed in September 2014 after the July general election for the 90 seat National Assembly.
The Social Democrats are threatening to leave the coalition if Veber is forced out but the Prime Minister seems clear on his decision and has said that he would appoint another Social Democrat to the Defence portfolio. Although the departure of the Social Democrats would not necessarily bring down the government it would leave them with a wafer thin majority.