Coalition says it is ready to realise its plans

Ljubljana – The new centre-left coalition expects the political situation to de-escalate now that the new parliament has started its work, and the level of the debate to be raised. Coalition deputy groups note the importance of cooperation in tackling challenges and stress they are well prepared and will work together to implement their plans.

The head of the Freedom Movement deputy group, Borut Sajovic, told the STA that all MPs should work together for the good of Slovenia as they are faced with common challenges such as price hikes, issues in healthcare and the potential new Covid wave in the autumn.

Assisted by his deputies Tereza Novak and Tamara Kozlovič, Sajovic is in charge of the largest deputy faction in Slovenia’s history, which numbers 41 MPs and is divided into eight regional groups to facilitate its work.

The head of the Social Democrats (SD) deputy faction, Jani Prednik, thinks that the new parliament will have no less demanding work than the previous one, but it will be different, particularly in terms of calming down the level of political discourse.

Prednik, who heads a group of seven MPs, expects the rhetoric in parliament to de-escalate and hopes that all MPs “will sit down at the same table and find solutions that will be beneficial to all, despite our sometimes divergent views.”

Matej T. Vatovec, the head of the Left deputy group, which totals five MPs, also said that one of the parliament’s priorities is to raise the level of the debate and de-escalate the rhetoric.

“MPs can sometimes be heated or more aggressive in our exchanges of views, but that doesn’t mean we have to be offensive,” he told the STA.

It is expected that the new opposition, the Democratic Party (SDS) and New Slovenia (NSi), will not be a constructive opposition, Vatovec said as he commented on the opposition’s first steps such as submitting dozens of bills to the parliamentary procedure, beating the coalition to it, and stalling the establishment of new ministries.

“We have seen that the right-wing has not accepted defeat in the election so easily, so we can count on all sorts of procedural clogs, but that is also part of parliamentarism,” he said.

Also commenting on the opposition’s first moves, Prednik said this signalled the direction of their actions.

“They themselves call it helping the coalition and the government, but I don’t think they believe these words themselves,” Prednik told the STA, noting that the SD will be willing to engage in dialogue with everybody.

Commenting on the potential cooperation with the SDS and NSi, Sajovic meanwhile said that “the post-election soup will not be eaten as hot as it was cooked”.

The Freedom Movement deputy group features many newcomers to parliamentary procedures. Asked about whether this will be a challenge, especially since the opposition is well versed in navigating such procedures, Sajovic said that the parliamentary procedure was not a game of football, but the journey leading to the goal.

In the end, whoever has 46 votes or more decides, he said, noting that the coalition has these votes.

Prednik and Vatovec also stressed the coalition was well prepared and will work together to achieve their plans.

The former noted that the SD was experienced in both being a coalition and an opposition party, whereas the latter said that despite being part of the coalition for the first time, the Left’s work will generally remain the same as it will continue to be dedicated to efforts that put people first.

All three of them also noted the importance of cooperation, respect and equal status between the parliament and the government.