The Slovenia Times

Janković Remains the First Choice


Tuerk and the representatives of the parliamentary parties discussed the efforts that had been put into forming a coalition so far, the president's office said, adding that they agreed that Jankovic, the winner of the 4 December election, should get the first shot.

Jankovic, the president of Positive Slovenia, labelled the talks with Tuerk as "very interesting and constructive", saying the president will decide at his own discretion.

He said, however, that the winner does not necessarily have to be given the chance to form a government.

The Democrats (SDS) came out of the meeting with Tuerk confident that the president would pick Jankovic.

Tuerk inquired "whether the SDS was in favour of giving Jankovic as the winner the first shot," SDS deputy group leader Joze Tanko said.

The party does not oppose the president's move, but it does not plan to support Jankovic in the parliamentary vote.

The Social Democrats (SD) told Tuerk they supported Jankovic as prime minister-designate.

Meanwhile, three smaller parties which formed an ad hoc coalition to elect the speaker of parliament last week oppose nominating Jankovic and want a government of national unity.

The Virant List, People's Party (SLS) and Pensioners' Party (DeSUS) want a "consensus on the principal priorities and a PM-designate who can bring together parties with at least a 60-vote majority in parliament," Gregor Virant said.

The trio have given other parties a week to think about the proposal. If it is unsuccessful, the three will each decide about their support independently.

"In that case the Virant List will be deciding about a centre-left or a centre-right coalition, both of which are possible at this point," Virant said.

The SLS's Franc Bogovic said that the SLS would not back Jankovic and that the trio would prefer to see a third person in charge, someone not belonging to the left of right camp.

He added that it was however too soon to start talks on a national unity government. "We first have to wait and see who is named PM-designate."

The three parties have 20 MPs in the 90-seat legislature, meaning that any government, left or right, would have to include at least two if not all three.

Their proposal has so far been received coolly, with Jankovic saying after the talks with Tuerk that this was nonsense.

Slovenia could have had a technocratic government when the government of Borut Pahor was voted out, but it was decided to hold early elections instead, he said.

Ljudmila Novak, the head of New Slovenia (NSi), said that the party had told Tuerk that the opportunity to build a government should be first given to Jankovic as the winner of the election. NSi would however not back him as PM-designate.

Novak does not see the need for a technocratic government or a national unity government. "I think that a political agreement on a PM-designate and ministers would also have to be reached for such governments," she added.

The SDS's Tanko, meanwhile, said that there was currently "no need to deal with how new trios will be formed."

"What is important now is that the president nominate a PM-designate, all other options will be a consequence of the success or failure of this attempt in parliament."


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