The Slovenia Times

Let the Parties Decide


Türk said he based his decision on a new round of talks with the parliamentary parties held after his first nominee Zoran Janković failed to secure a majority in parliament on 11 January.

But since five parties led by the Democrats (SDS) of Janez Janša had agreed on a coalition in the meantime, he said he expected that they would be filing the nomination for Saturday's vote.

The president said he will not be nominating Janša because does not find him a fully legitimate candidate given the indictment he faces in relation to the 2006 defence contract with Finnish company Patria.

Meanwhile, four centre-right parties plus the Pensioners' Party (DeSUS) decided to form a new government coalition led by the Democrats (SDS), which were the runners-up in the 4 December general election and appointed Janez Janša as a PM candidate.

The move comes after the representatives of the SDS, People's Party (SLS), Virant List, New Slovenia (NSi) and DeSUS finalised a draft coalition agreement in recent days.

While the decision by the centre-right parties had been anticipated, DeSUS was faced with a tough call today, according to the party head Karl Erjavec.

Indeed, the council deliberated on the matter for more than three hours. In the end, 37 out of the 48 members of the council voted in favour.

DeSUS opted for "a coalition for exiting the crisis", Erjavec pointed out, adding that a rejection would lead to another snap election.

"The decision was hard to make, but it was made to the benefit of the party's platform and pensioners," he stated.

He boasted the party's achievements in connection to the coalition agreement, highlighting the provision that no ideological issues would be opened during the government's term and that pensions would be frozen only in 2012, while they would be excluded from a possible austerity law in 2013.

A potential pension reform would meanwhile include 60% adjustment of pensions to pay and 40% to inflation, he said.

All other parties were virtually unanimous in their support to the coalition with the party heads also expressing satisfaction with the distribution of ministries.

SLS head Radovan Žerjav told the press that his party was happy to take over the ministry for economic development and technology, and the ministry for agriculture and environment, as the two departments would be in charge of fields that were covered by nearly four different ministries in previous governments.

There is still some speculation regarding the candidates for new ministers though, as the prospective coalition parties had reportedly only agreed on the distribution of posts and not yet on the names of ministers.

The meetings of NSi and the Virant List mostly focused on the coalition agreement. Gregor Virant of the namesake party is especially happy with the part of the agreement that deals with measures for exiting the crisis and boosting the economy.

The five parties are expected to sign the coalition agreement tomorrow at noon in parliament and contribute their signatures to nominate SDS head Janez Janša for PM-designate.

Given that they together hold 50 seats in the 90-member National Assembly, the parties are most likely to confirm Janša as PM-elect on Saturday.

The centre-right coalition will be formed after President Danilo Türk's first nominee for PM-elect, Zoran Janković, failed to muster sufficient support in parliament two weeks ago. Nominations can now be filed by deputy groups, ten MPs or by the president.


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