Slovene parliament confirms minority government

New Slovenian Prime Minister Marjan Sarec signs the oath after his election at the Slovenian parlament in Ljubljana, Slovenia, 17 August 2018. Marjan Sarec, President of the LMS (List of Marjan Sarec) was elected new Prime Minister of Slovenia. EPA-EFE/IGOR KUPLJENIK

Slovene parliament confirms minority government


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Slovenia’s parliament confirmed the country’s first ever minority government on Thursday.

The minority government secured 45 votes in a 90-seat parliament, while 11 MPs abstained. 34 voted against the minority government, favouring snap elections.

The minority government dominated by left-wing parties is modelled after the Portuguese precedent is the result of painstaking negotiations.

Slovenia went to the polls in June, returning a politically fragmented parliament with 11 political parties sharing 90 seats.

The 40-year old Prime Minister Marjan Sarec is a former provincial mayor, comedian and actor, leads a party that is highly personalized (Sarec List). He has forged a volatile alliance of five parties: the Sarec List, the Social Democrats, the Modern Center, the Alenka Bratusek party, and the pensioners party (Desus).

The coalition formally controls 43 seats in parliament.

In effect, this is an alliance of six or “five plus one” parties as the government is reliant on the support or abstention of the Left Party (9 seats). The cooperation with the Left will be “project based” in an arrangement that will demand policy negotiations every three months. The Left Party will not have a place in the cabinet.

Sarec is promising a stable economic environment conducive to investment, cutting red tape and improvement in healthcare services. The government faces tough negotiations with public sector unions who staged a series of strikes in spring, demanding significant salary increases.

The former prime minister Miro Cerar returns as foreign minister, while the Economist Andrej Bertoncelj takes the finance portfolio.

If the minority government fails to remain on top of the policy agenda, the country may go to the polls for snap elections. The prospect is welcome by election winner Janez Janša, whose Democrats (SDS) was openly supported by Hungary’s Victor Orban. SDS campaigned on a anti-immigration and Eurosceptic platform.

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