The Slovenia Times

Lull before new round of government formation talks


President Borut Pahor will formally inform the National Assembly today that he will not nominate a prime minister-designate in the 30-day window in which he is the only one who can make the nomination.

This is after Janez Janša, the leader of the election winning Democratic Party (SDS), declined the offer to accept a mandate to form a government at this stage because he has not yet secured a sufficient majority.

The SDS would need at least two more partners aside from their natural ally, New Slovenia (NSi), to form a majority, but with the exception of the NSi and the far-right National Party (SNS) other parties have so far ruled out joining a Janša-led government.

The other potential candidate for a PM-designate, Marjan Šarec, whose namesake party came second in the election, saw his six-party coalition talks collapse after the NSi decided to quit.

However, Šarec and the other four centre-left parties involved in his talks have already announced that they will resume talks this week, and that they will likely involve the Left.

The Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ), Social Democrats (SD), Modern Centre Party (SMC), Alenka Bratušek Party (SAB) and the Pensioners' Party (DeSUS) have 43 MPs between them.

The Left has 9 MPs, which would increase the tally of votes of such a coalition in the 90-strong legislature to 52.

The far-right party is willing to discuss joining a Šarec-led coalition under equal terms that applied to the NSi, while they are also willing to discuss a Portugal-modelled project partnership.

This would mean that Šarec could form a minority government that would enjoy support from the Left in exchange for implementing some of the promises from the party's election manifesto.

Parliament will take formal note of Pahor's decision not to nominate a PM-designate at this stage on Friday when a second round of nomination procedure begins.

In that round a candidate for prime minister may be put forward by the president or groups of MPs over the next two weeks.

In the meantime, both Janša and Šarec will try to build a sufficient majority. Whether anyone succeeds will be clear in the first third of August.

If no one musters an absolute majority in the second round, a third round may follow in which an ordinary majority will be sufficient to name a prime minister-designate. After that, the only alternative would be a fresh election.


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