SI  EN  |  Accessibility
TEXT
UPPER CASE lower case
TEXT SIZE
CTRL+ increase size
CTRL- decrease size
THEME
High contrast Normal contrast Reset all
 
 
 

Reply of Borut Pahor, President of the Republic of Slovenia, to the letter of Janez Stanovnik, President of the Association of Veterans of the National Liberation Struggle

Ljubljana, 16. 1. 2013 | press release

The President of the Republic, Borut Pahor, today replied to the letter of Janez Stanovnik, President of the Association of Veterans of the National Liberation Struggle

The full reply of Borut Pahor, the President of the Republic Slovenia, is published below:


Dear President of the Association of Veterans of the National Liberation Struggle,
Mr Janez Stanovnik,

Please have no doubts about the independence of my performance as President of the Republic of Slovenia.

After my recent election as president, I swore that I would uphold the constitutional order, that I would act according to my conscience, and that I would do everything in my power for the good of Slovenia. And indeed I do act in this way.

The publication of the report of the Commission for the Prevention of Corruption only enhanced my emphasis on the importance of strengthening the rule of law. Along with the general concern for the prompt stabilisation of the political situation in Slovenia in a credible way for its people, this was one of my principal political priorities even before the publication of the report. It began on the day I took my oath of office.

In this respect, many people asked whether the President of the Republic should respond to the report by calling for the resignation of those concerned. As public criticism has been launched in respect of this issue, I feel a duty to provide the following clarification to the people to whom I am responsible as the president.

Even at the time I had not yet considered the candidacy for the President of the Republic and especially at the time when I did stand for this position, I gave several clear public statements that I, as the potential new president, would not call on officials subject to the hearings or decisions of the authorities of the rule of law to resign from or stay on their positions.

The Slovenian public was familiar with this attitude before I was elected president, with a convincing majority. This attitude is, therefore, not the result of a biased political position or dependence on anybody but a faithful adherence to what I understood to be the proper conduct of the President of the Republic before my election and what I understand as such today.

Firstly, the institutions of the rule of law do not and should not need the authority of the President of the Republic for their own authority. This is the only way to acquire their true power provided by the constitutional order. Secondly, if the President of the Republic should have the moral power and even duty (he clearly does not have the appropriate powers) to call on officials to resign, he has the same power to call on them to stay on their positions. This is a form of discretion that I do not wish to have and should not have in my conduct as the President of the Republic. And thirdly, officials in important positions adopt decisions about the fate of two million citizens, while we, in our capacity of the members of the European Council, help influence the decisions concerning the fate of half a billion of Europeans. The decisions we adopt are very difficult. We are also expected to be able to decide when it is about us, about our own fate when we are subject to hearing or decisions of the institutions of the rule of law.

I am taking this opportunity to repeat my firm support to the intention of the Commission for the Prevention of Corruption to promptly prepare the legislative initiative for the overall regulation of the system of supervision of the financial position of officials.

Dear Mr President, it is quite possible that our positions on what is appropriate conduct of the President of the Republic will continue to differ even after this clarification. Nevertheless, I have at least explained that my conduct is consistent with my positions that have been publicly known for a long time, that I do not omit the conduct imposed by my competences, and that I act according to my conscience, impartially and independently.

In democratic societies, the acts of heads of state are subject to democratic dialogue, criticism and considerations. This is just and correct, and I do not take any such attitude as pressure on my work, so I can continue it in an impartial and independent manner.

Please accept, Mr President, the assurance of my highest consideration.


Borut Pahor

===========
The letter by Janez Stanovnik, President of the Association of Veterans of the National Liberation Struggle, is available in Slovenian language only:

ZZB.pdf