Right-wing SDS to lead new Slovenian government

By bne IntelliNews February 25, 2020

Four Slovenian political parties led by the Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS) agreed in principle to form a new coalition government on February 25, after the resignation of PM Marjan Sarec.

Sarec resigned on January 27 to open the way for snap general elections, as he had been unable to implement substantial reforms at the helm of a minority government. Since then, parliamentary parties have been looking at options to form a government without holding early elections.

The three parties that held talks with the SDS, which is the biggest parliamentary party, are the Modern Centre Party (SMC), New Slovenia (NSi) and the Pensioners' Party (DeSUS), the head of the SDS parliamentary group Danijel Krivec said in a party statement.

The SDS has 26 seats in the 90-seat parliament, and together the four parties hold a total of 48 seats.

On February 25, Krivec also attended the second round of meetings with President Borut Pahor and asked him to appoint SDS party leader Janez Jansa as prime minister designate.

“We have forwarded to the president of the republic a proposal for the appointment of the party’s head Janez Jansa, as prime minister designate,” Krivec said.

Krivec added that “as far as the agreement on substantive matters, things are coordinated, and the final decisions are the responsibility of the parties' authorities.”

Outgoing Prime Minister Sarec was cited by news agency STA as saying that he is not surprised at the prospect of a new Jansa government.

It will now be up to Pahor to decide whether to nominate Jansa as PM-designate. The four parties will continue discussions on the distribution of positions and names of candidates for ministers.

Jansa previously served as prime minister from 2004 to 2008 and again from 2012 to 2013.

While his SDS is the largest party in the current parliament, after the last election the leaders of most other parties declined to work with Jansa. Instead five smaller parties united in a minority coalition to form a government led by former comedian Sarec. 

Jansa is a controversial figure who spent six months in prison after being convicted of receiving bribes in connection with a deal with Finnish defence company Patria, though his conviction was later overturned as the constitutional court ruled that it was based on insufficient evidence.

In 2018 he was given a three-month suspended sentence for insulting two journalists by calling them prostitutes. 

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