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On candidates for Constitutional Court judge, governor of the Bank of Slovenia, and the LDS party

Ljubljana, 01/22/2007  |  statement


President of the Republic Dr Janez Drnovšek today answered journalists' questions regarding his proposed candidates for Constitutional Court judge and governor of the Bank of Slovenia, and the LDS party:

Mr President, in the past weeks you have made known your choice of candidates for Constitutional Court judge and governor of the Bank of Slovenia, which has aroused some consternation. After you revealed your choice for Constitutional Court judge, there was some concern in the party ranks, since you, as president of the republic, decided to designate for Parliament's approval a person who has not presented his application. Some believe that in this way certain people have been unnecessarily jeopardized and that the president might face some problems at the end of the year, when these initiatives are assessed. Some even think that such a method lacks seriousness.

Dr Janez Drnovšek: I personally think that such opinions show a lack of seriousness, since I have proposed Dr Grad, who is presently the best possible candidate in Slovenia, chairman of the Department of Constitutional Law at the Faculty of Law, and in a way the mainstay of professional integrity in this field. We should not forget that he has educated numerous other jurists, among them some candidates who have responded to the call for proposals. I think they are well aware that in this case Dr Grad is the preferred choice. I am convinced – truly I count on it – that members of the National Assembly will give due consideration to this proposal and ensure that the Constitutional Court continues to be an institution that is highly professional, independent and worthy of the trust of every citizen.

What message would the Slovenian political sphere send to the world, and in particular to the European Union, if only a few weeks after the successful adoption of the euro it refused to confirm Mitja Gaspari as governor of the Bank of Slovenia?

Dr Janez Drnovšek: It would really seem unusual, indeed it would be difficult to find another case anywhere else in the world, in which a governor who has successfully concluded his mandate, and two other mandates (or even more) before that as minister of finance, who has always been at the forefront of establishing our system, who has shown steadfastness, would not be confirmed for another mandate. I am aware of the questions that have been raised and the turbulence in this regard, but I have weighed this proposal on the basis of the whole professional career of Mr Gaspari as minister of finance and governor of the Bank of Slovenia, in relation to what he has achieved personally and to what has been achieved by Slovenia. So for me his candidature is indisputable.

Mr President, do the latest events within the LDS party indicate that passions on the left are subsiding? Is a revival of this part of the political scene really possible only through catharsis and the creation of a new party?

Dr Janez Drnovšek: I am not the right person to answer that. I must confess that lately, and particularly since I have become president of the state, I am no longer concerned with party psychology and could not really diagnose the present situation correctly.

What are your feelings about the questions that are arising in the public sphere on your candidature for president of the state this autumn?

Dr Janez Drnovšek: I find it amusing, actually. First, because the question is asked again and again, and second, because I am being asked about something that is not in the least relevant at this moment, and will only be relevant in the autumn.

And for what reason do you refuse to answer these questions?

Dr Janez Drnovšek: Simply that, at this moment, this is not a relevant issue. I have always explained my feelings and my views on this issue, except when I feel that it is going too far, and I do not think it is necessary to dwell on this issue so much. It would be best to tackle other issues.

Still, could you …

Dr Janez Drnovšek: I don't want to be too concerned about my future.

Still, this is an important topic, as we are talking about the highest political office in the state, of the most important political function in the state, of its role and meaning.

Dr Janez Drnovšek: Well, I am presently still carrying out this function, and I am the president of the Republic of Slovenia, and I am occupied with this issue, that is, with this mandate.
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