The Slovenia Times

Janković Loses Vote for PM-Elect


Having been promised 44 votes from a prospective coalition featuring his Positive Slovenia (PS), the SocDems and the Pensioners' Party (DeSUS), Janković was unable to secure two votes from the other side of the isle and even failed to get all the votes from friendly parties.

Responding to the outcome, Janković said he accepted the will of the MPs. He added that he had no complaints about MPs on either side in today's debate "bar for one individual over whom I will not lose words".

"We came here with our heads held high and we stuck to what we had promised the voters," he said, adding that he did not view the outcome as a defeat. "A defeat would have been pulling out."

The outcome ends a frantic day of mock vote counting in which speculation had been rife about whether some of the MPs in the no camp featuring the Democrats (SDS), the Citizens' List of Gregor Virant, People's Party (SLS) and New Slovenia (NSi) may defect.

A total of 54 MPs picked up the ballots for the secret vote, including some of the no camp, which had previously said it would not pick up the ballots to smoke out potential defectors.

The decision from the no camp to pick up a few ballots was to ensure that the vote would not be invalid, as 46 ballots need to be picked up.

A total of 47 votes were cast, with four invalid and one against.

Responding to the no camp's decision not to pick up the ballots, Janković said that they will have a tough time explaining this to the people of Slovenia. "Their job is to vote - be it for or against."

He also singled out the Virant List for deciding not to enter his coalition, suggesting that the party had never been serious about the possibility of entering a coalition with him despite pretending otherwise.

"Some will have a difficult time explaining that the decision they took on Monday was not actually taken a long time ago".

Meanwhile, Janković denied that suggestions before today's vote from his ranks that he had the necessary votes has been "a bluff".

The outcome marks the first time since Slovenia gained independence in 1991 that the prime minister-designate has not been elected in the first round of voting in the National Assembly.

In the first round, the nominee is put forward by the president, while in the second round, which is to follow within three weeks, the candidate can be proposed by the president and also by deputy groups or groups of 10 MPs.

Janković would not say whether he would seek another nomination, saying that he would "sleep on it" and confer with his party in the coming days.


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