Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon survived the no-confidence motion tabled by the opposition after the recent recall of Slovenia’s ambassador to the United States.
The motion against the minister and leader of the Social Democrats (SD) was backed by only 22 MPs of two right-wing opposition parties in the 90-member legislature as the coalition closed ranks to defend the minister.
The Democratic Party (SDS) initiated the vote after, following Tajon’s suggestion, Ambassador to the US Tone Kajzer was recalled in September for sending SDS a photo of an internal Foreign Ministry cable.
The cable contained instructions stating that embassies should publish an address where voters can send signatures to back independent presidential candidate Nataša Pirc Musar.
While this has been established practice for years, the SDS asserted that the Foreign Ministry’s cable system was abused. They also claimed Fajon violated the Foreign Affairs Act by not consulting the republic’s president before recalling Kajzer.
SDS leader Janez Janša, whose government appointed Kajzer to the top diplomatic post in the US, said Kajzer did not violate any rule because he did not send the cable to an unauthorised person.
Janša claimed that as a member of the parliamentary Foreign Policy Committee, he was entitled to receive such information, a notion Fajon dismissed, even suggesting that the opposition tried to divert attention from misdeeds perpetrated by the former ambassador.
According to the foreign minister, the content of the cable did not even matter since Kajzer had violated the Foreign Affairs Act by sharing it with Janša, “who is not an authorised person”, which made him unfit to continue leading the embassy.
The motion of no confidence was clearly unfounded and “nothing but an attack that the opposition has mounted to create a populist political campaign,” Fajon added.
“The signatories of the motion of no confidence allege that the ambassador’s recall was disproportionate. The alternative would have been to legitimise his actions,” she said.
(Sebastijan R. Maček | sta.si)