PM to nominate health minister when DeSUS MPs decide on their support for govt
Ljubljana - Prime Minister Janez Janša has said that he would nominate a new health minister when the MPs for the Pensioners' Party (DeSUS), which recently left the government coalition, decide whether they will support the government or become opposition MPs. He said they have until Wednesday's coalition meeting to decide.
Talking at the daily government coronavirus briefing on Friday, Janša denied speculations that members of the cabinet would rotate as health ministers.
These speculations started circulating after he decided earlier this week to hand over the health department to Defence Minister Matej Tonin. The decision came weeks after Janša stepped in as interim health minister following the resignation of Tomaž Gantar in the wake of DeSUS's decision to leave the coalition.
Janša also said today that Tonin was named interim health minister because he was considered for the position already after Gantar's resignation.
But the coalition "decided together that it is most sensible for me to take over temporarily and propose a new minister as soon as the situation created when the DeSUS party council decided to leave the coalition is resolved."
Janša said that not all DeSUS MPs had made their position clear, which is why he has not yet sent a nomination to parliament. DeSUS MPs have until Wednesday to decide whether they support the government or whether they are classic opposition "without a staff quota in the government".
"We want to resolve this in one move. If the majority of the DeSUS deputy group does not support the government, this also puts on the line the Agriculture Ministry, which belongs to the party under the coalition agreement."
DeSUS deputy group head Franc Jurša told the STA that the deputy group and leadership of DeSUS would meet on Tuesday to discuss the future work of the party and deputy group, but he did not want to predict the conclusions.
The leadership of DeSUS held a meeting today but Jurša did not reveal the details, while asserting that the leadership probably counted on the deputy group implementing the party's decisions. "We will see on Tuesday what happens."
Jurša said that he hardly saw himself in an "extreme opposition" in any parliamentary term, while deputy Branko Simonovič said it would make sense to be constructive opposition that would support proposals they believe were good for citizens.
Simonovič, who did not sign the postponed motion for a constructive vote of no confidence in government, said that Janša's call had been expected, because "we can no longer bury our hands in the sand".