The Slovenia Times

Decisive week for coalition building


President Borut Pahor said on Friday that he would nominate Janša prime minister-designate this week, after holding one final round of talks with him.

Pahor and Janša are set to meet in the second half of the week. It is however unclear whether Janša will accept the nomination. He has said in the past that he would not accept it if somebody else enjoyed the requisite support in the National Assembly.

As an additional caveat, Pahor said last week that he would only nominate Janša after making sure that he would not withdraw before the PM-designate vote in the National Assembly, as this would open a Pandora's Box of procedural opacity.

Janša is far from collecting the needed 46 votes in the 90-member legislature; at this point he can only count on the National Party (SNS) and six out of seven MPs of the New Slovenia (NSi), falling well short of the majority.

Šarec, meanwhile, is attempting to finalise his coalition - he is expected to send out a draft coalition agreement early this week - but he needs NSi votes if he is to succeed in building a centrist grouping.

As a contingency, Šarec may still hope for the Left to join forces with him.

The Left has not participated in the coalition-building talks so far, with Šarec meeting them separately.

Whether he may count on the Left will become clear on Monday, when the council of what is the only far-left party in parliament will hold a meeting to discuss whether to join the Šarec-led effort.

Representatives of the Left have however expressed several times the feeling that Šarec did not actually want them in the coalition he is putting together with the Modern Centre (SMC), the Social Democrats (SD), the Alenka Bratušek Party (SAB), the Pensioners' Party (DeSUS), and NSi.

Šarec's party, the Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ), originally intended to send out a draft coalition agreement today. However, it decided during the weekend to present the agreement to them in person at a later point during the week.

The situation seems complicated to the point that an early election is the most likely scenario, according to Andraž Zorko of the pollster Valicon.

The only way to avoid an early election is for the centre-left parties to give in to the conservative NSi, giving it disproportionate power, he told the STA.

He does not believe Janša will accept the nomination. Right now, Janša is election winner but if he accepts the nomination and loses the PM-designate vote, he would become a loser.

In case of an early election, the SDS and the Left will gain the most, Zorko believes. If the centre-left parties fail to find common ground, voters are likely to look to the more radical parties. "This explains why Janša and [Left leader Luka] Mesec are so calm."


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