The Slovenia Times

Coalition to Get Final Shape as PM-Designate Is Nominated



The Pensioners' Party (DeSUS), Social Democrats (SD) and Alliance of Alenka Bratušek (ZaAB) are still in talks with the SMC to form a coalition after the conservative New Slovenia (NSi) decided to exit the talks last week.

A coalition between the relative winner of the 13 July general elections and all three parties would have a strong majority in the National Assembly, 56 votes in the 90-member legislature.

Such a coalition would limit or prevent "extortion" by individual junior members of the coalition, because it could keep an absolute majority in parliament in case one of the partners decides to leave the coalition.

The biggest issue is cooperation with the ZaAB, as a part of the SMC membership is not inclined to tying-up with the smallest parliamentary party and its president and outgoing Prime Minister Alenka Bratušek.

Cerar told the press on Thursday there was a problem in the coalition talks with the ZaAB since Bratušek is under scrutiny of the anti-graft watchdog over nominating herself for Slovenia's European commissioner. He added that public opinion about the matter was also negative.

According to Cerar, the council of the SMC will meet on Tuesday or Wednesday to make a final decision about with whom to go into a coalition. The presidency of the SD will meanwhile meet on Thursday to decide whether to continue the talks.

The SMC will hold separate meetings with representatives of the DeSUS, the SD and the ZaAB on Monday for the last time, and after that the talks are expected to continue collectively. The upcoming talks will focus on staffing and distribution of departments among the parties.

The media have speculated that the SMC wants finance, while the SD wants to be in charge of the economy department and keep the ministry of labour and social affairs. DeSUS head Karl Erjavec is meanwhile expected to keep his foreign minister post.

The coalition agreement brokered by Cerar is expected to be initialled before the National Assembly takes a vote on the PM-designate, which is not expected to take place in the coming week. Parliament Speaker Milan Brglez has told the STA that the most likely date is 25 August.

Cerar has already secured sufficient support in the National Assembly, as DeSUS and the ZaAB have promised their votes in parliament, while the SD is also expected to endorse him. With DeSUS alone the SMC has an absolute majority in parliament with 46 deputies.

Once elected, the PM-designate will have 15 days to propose a list of ministerial candidates to the National Assembly. Barring unexpected delays in the procedure, the 12th government of Slovenia could be sworn in sometime in mid-September.


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