The Slovenia Times

Future opposition mild in comments on new coalition


The SDS signed a coalition agreement with the Modern Centre Party (SMC), New Slovenia (NSi) and Pensioner's Party (DeSUS) on Tuesday, and President Borut Pahor formally nominated on Wednesday SDS president Janez Janša for prime minister.

The National Assembly is to take a vote on Janša at next week's plenary, expectedly on Tuesday, and everything suggests that he will secure enough votes as the four parties have a total of 47 MPs in the 90-member legislature.

If the new coalition is confirmed, the former coalition members Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ), Alenka Bratušek Party (SAB) and Social Democrats (SD) will end up in the opposition, joining the Left and the National Party (SNS).

The Left, which served as an opposition partner to the outgoing coalition in a majority of projects, is the most critical among them of the formation of the future coalition around Janša.

MP Matej T. Vatovec said the coalition agreement would step up misguided policies, as it announced reduction of public spending, clear intention of privatisation of healthcare, increased repression and intolerance to all differences.

"Janez Janša will again rise to power with old policies. This could pose a risk for freedom of the press and for various civil society movements," he said, while criticising the parties who a year and a half ago said they could not cooperate with the SDS only to "happily enter a coalition with it today."

SAB president Alenka Bratušek meanwhile wished that the new coalition worked successfully and said she would like to see at least half of what was said in the coalition agreement be realised.

But Bratušek noted that some things in the agreement did not add up, as the commitment to reduce public spending runs against the commitment to secure EUR 250 million for long-term care this year. "One plus one is still two."

The party is not disappointed over failing to form a project-based government after PM Marjan Šarec's resignation, but Bratušek is disappointed that 52 MPs from parties left of the centre were not able to form a government.

While the far-right SNS will not be part of the new coalition, its MP Jani Ivanuša announced he would vote for Janša as prime minister. He believes that the state continuing to function is a better option that months of standstill in the case of a snap election.

SNS president Zmago Jelinčič said that the party would be a constructive opposition which would always support positive solutions regardless of who was in power. "This is what differentiates us from other political parties."

While the SD would not comment on the new coalition, LMŠ president Šarec said recently he wished those who had pledged prior to the 2018 general election not to cooperate with Janša would have stuck to their promises.

The outgoing MP is nevertheless not surprised at the prospect of a new Janez Janša government. "I might be more surprised if we had a snap election," he said on Tuesday.


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