The Slovenia Times

No decision as to election or coalition after first round of talks


A new coalition in the existing parliament still seems more likely than an early election at the moment, with Democrats (SDS) leader Janez Janša launching talks with potential partners tomorrow.

Coming out of the meetings with Pahor today, representatives of the Alenka Bratušek Party (SAB) and the National Party (SNS) repeated their positions that electoral legislation should be changed before the election but also that they would not take part in a Janša-led government.

SAB deputy group leader Maša Kociper believes that an SDS-led government is "not in the national interest". She added that SAB would not meet with Janša and was to take a formal decision about what steps to take tomorrow.

Kociper said that SAB still believed it was a good idea to form a project-based government, an initiative by the SAB into which all parties except the SDS have been invited.

The SAB, as well as the SNS and five other parties have proposed changes to the electoral legislation which have been demanded by the Constitutional Court more than a year ago.

Apart from the SAB and the SNS, the changes were put forward by the Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ), the Modern Centre Party (SMC), New Slovenia (NSi) and the Left, as well as both minority MPs.

"We have a historic chance. We are close to a two-thirds majority and an opportunity to pass a bill allowing a different setup of the National Assembly before the next election," said Kociper. She believes that an election could be carried out under new legislation as early as September.

SNS head Zmago Jelinčič also expressed hope that the election legislation will be adopted, adding that Pahor supported the changes. However, the problem remains that the supporters are one vote short of the requisite two-thirds majority.

Jelinčič hopes that one or two MPs of the Pensioners' Party (DeSUS) will decide to support the changes, adding that there is a likely chance that DeSUS would not make it to parliament under the current legislation.

SNS head also said that he would not meet with Janša. "The thing is some of us have pride, others don't."

Although the parties that have shown willingness to work with the SDS have a total of 48 votes in the 90-member National Assembly, Jelinčič said that Janša seemed to be having problems in securing a majority.

One of the parties willing to form a coalition with Janša is DeSUS, whose deputy group head Franc Jurša said after meeting Pahor today that the party would meet with Janša tomorrow.

Although DeSUS is preparing for an early election, it seems that it has a very clear idea of its position in a potential Janša government, as Jurša said its wanted the departments of health and social affairs.

The president also talked to the two minority MPs today, with Italian MP Felice Žiža telling the press after the meeting that he and Hungarian MP Ferenc Horvath did not wish to be the ones tipping the scales in crucial votes.

"We want to work with a government which has enough MPs to pass legislation and reforms without too much pressure on the minority MPs," Žiža said.

He added that they were ready for a snap election, but also willing to discuss a new coalition. They have also received an invitation for talks from the SDS.

Žiža said that minority MPs would propose a cooperation agreement to the potential new government, similar to the one they had with the outgoing government.


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