Centre-left opposition retables a motion of no confidence in govt

Ljubljana – The five left-leaning opposition parties have filed again a motion for a constructive vote of no confidence in the government of Janez Janša, with Karl Erjavec, the president of the Pensioners’ Party (DeSUS), as candidate for prime-minister designate.

The proposal from the Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ), Social Democrats (SD), Left, Alenka Bratušek Party (SAB) and DeSUS is supported by ten MP signatures, with each of the initiating parties contributing two signatures.

Erjavec told the press as he presented the motion that the main reproaches to the government related to undermining constitutional principles.

He said that the government was going in the direction opposite to the principles of division of power, freedom of the press, respect of human rights and the rule of law, and other principles that make Slovenia a constitutional democracy.

On the contrary, the government, and in particular Prime Minister Janez Janša, is investing a lot of effort in undermining the fundamental constitutional principles, weakening regulatory institutions and establishing a so-called “second republic”.

According to Erjavec, this is the main objective of the platform of the Democratic Party (SDS). This means Slovenia being on the way towards “authoritarian democracy” in which the “great leader” has the main role and the “party uncompromisingly follows him”.

The president of DeSUS also said the government had no effective solutions in fighting the Covid-19 epidemic, and that its measures limited human rights and freedoms, causing severe social consequences.

“There is a great deal of discontent in the public, the mood among the people is bad, with fear and uncertainty prevailing,” he added.

It is thus high time for National Assembly deputies to decide whether they support the politics pursued by Janša, or they want new, open and democratic politics that “considers the opinion of experts and does not instil fear and uncertainty.”

LMŠ president Marjan Šarec said that even if the vote failed, this could not be a defeat for the opposition, which was obliged to do everything in their power to improve the situation in the country and change the direction drastically.

Tanja Fajon, the president of the SocDems, said that the motion was about boosting people’s trust in politics and in normality, which the parties wanted to regain “through dialogue and through pacifying and credible politics.”

Left coordinator Luka Mesec added that the “situation in Slovenia has never been worse in the last 30 years than now, under the government of Janez Janša.”.

Mesec, who expects a narrow vote, said that the epidemic was not to blame for the situation, but the way the government was handling it and how it was “using it for the interests of parties”.

SAB president and MP Alenka Bratušek called on all MPs to think about and remember why the citizens had elected them in the first place.

In line with the parliamentary rules of procedure, the National Assembly could discuss and take a vote on the motion as early as on Friday, and not later than 17 February. The most probable date is Monday.

The motion comes after the five parties, gathered in the informal Constitutional Arch Coalition (KUL), had filed a proposal for a constructive vote of no confidence in the government less than a month ago, which was supported by 42 MP signatures.

The vote never took place as Erjavec withdrew the proposal as it was not certain whether all of the 90 MPs could participate in the secret ballot due to the epidemiological concerns at the time.

He said today he would not withdraw his candidacy this time even if it was not possible for all MPs to vote, as he finds it appropriate that at least a debate is conducted in parliament about where the government is taking Slovenia.

The LMŠ, SD, Left and SAB have a combined 39 votes, or seven short of the required absolute majority. Erjavec said that in addition to the two DeSUS signatures supporting the new motion, he counted on at least one more vote from his party.

He added that he was not going to resign as DeSUS president if the constructive vote of no confidence failed, as he had returned to politics first and foremost to consolidate the party.