The Slovenia Times

All five parties officially okay coalition participation


After the Alenka Bratušek Party (SAB) and the Pensioners' Party (DeSUS) made their decisions to enter the coalition official on Friday, the same step was taken by the Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ), the Social Democrats (SD) and the Modern Centre Party (SMC) on Monday.

At the meetings, party bodies also confirmed their respective party's lists of ministerial candidates. While most of the parties made no secret of their candidates, the names of two LMŠ candidates only became clear late on Sunday.

The biggest party in the coalition proposes that Slovenia Sovereign Holding (SSH) board member Andrej Bertoncelj take over the Finance Ministry and that Samo Fakin, former boss of the public health insurance institute ZZZS, head the health department.

The Interior Ministry is set to be led by LMŠ member Boštjan Poklukar, the head of the Kranj Civil Protection and Disaster Relief response centre, while Tugomir Kodelja, a business manager, is to take over the Ministry of Public Administration.

After the LMŠ executive committee confirmed the party's list of candidates today, Šarec told the press that LMŠ had chosen candidates "capable of making a change".

He commented on the candidates for finance and public administration ministers. The former has built a career at drug companies Lek and Kemofarmacija, with Šarec saying that the party abandoned the idea that current Finance Minister Mateja Vraničar Erman stay on after they decided it would be good to propose fresh names for the cabinet.

The most likely new public administration minister, Kodelja, is the least known of all candidates. He will face tough public sector pay negotiations, with Šarec saying today that Kodelja himself might not take over the talks.

"The government will find a competent negotiator who will treat trade unions as partners, and I am confident that we will find a solution," said Šarec.

The top bodies of SAB and the SMC both adopted a kind of safeguard caveat: they will only sign the coalition agreement if other coalition partners and the Left, which is to support the minority government from opposition, accepts their ministerial candidates.

Under the cooperation protocol signed by the future coalition partners and the Left, the latter will not be voting against the ministerial candidates put forward by Prime Minister-designate Marjan Šarec under the condition that Šarec discusses the candidates with it.

The SMC has proposed that outgoing Prime Minister Miro Cerar become the new foreign minister and that incumbent Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek remain in office.

The SMC also proposes two current state secretaries for ministerial posts: Jure Leben of the Infrastructure Ministry is to take over the Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning, while Ksenija Klampfer, the head of the Maribor Administrative Unit, is set to become the new minister in charge of labour and social affairs.

SAB, which is to get three ministries, wants to see its president and former Prime Minister Alenka Bratušek in charge of the Infrastructure Ministry, MP and former mayor Marko Bandelli is to be the next EU cohesion policy minister and MP Peter Jožef Česnik the new minister for Slovenians abroad.

The SD list of ministerial candidates has been known for days: Jernej Pikalo is to take over the Education Ministry, Dejan Prešiček is to be the new culture minister and Andreja Katič is to be the new justice minister.

The names of DeSUS's candidates have also been known for a while. Party president Karl Erjavec is to take over the Defence Ministry once again and Aleksandra Pivec is to be the new agriculture minister.

In his statement for the press today Šarec expressed confidence that his team of ministers will be appointed by the National Assembly. He also expects that the Left will honour the cooperation protocol and not oppose the cabinet nominees.

Šarec plans to meet all the candidates in the coming days and send the list of ministerial nominees to parliament on Friday.


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