Ljubljana – After meeting representatives of the informal KUL coalition on Tuesday, Pensioners’ Party (DeSUS) leader Karl Erjavec announced that a motion for a constructive vote of no-confidence in the government would be filed next week or by the end of the year. He expects that the required 46 MP votes will have been secured by then.
Speaking to the press after meeting the heads of the left-leaning opposition Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ), Social Democrats (SD), the Left and Alenka Bratušek Party (SAB), which form the Constitutional Arch Coalition (KUL), Erjavec said it had also been agreed that the parties’ bodies would confirm him as a candidate for a prime minister-designate.
According to the DeSUS president, this is important because it has been widely speculated lately that this role could be assumed by someone else. The confirmation means a guarantee that once the motion is submitted, he will be the candidate.
While Erjavec told the STA on Monday that he would be a candidate for a prime minister-designate only if at least 46 signatures of MPs were secured, it seems now that the motion may be submitted in any case.
He expects that a sufficient number of signatures will be collected by the end of the year and claims that “things are looking good and we are very close”.
Erjavec added that the informal coalition was following the recommendation by President Borut Pahor, who called after Monday’s meeting of senior state officials for the political situation in the country be resolved as soon as possible.
After DeSUS member Tomaž Gantar recently resigned as health minister as the party left the coalition, Prime Minister Janez Janša took over as interim health minister, so Erjavec believes that this means that Janša has assumed the responsibility for the current Covid-19 situation.
“We see what the results are. This is also one of the reasons why we want a new government. We think that this trend continuing would be irresponsible,” he said, noting that DeSUS, which advocated the elderly, could not stand and watch.
According to him, the motion is also an opportunity for MPs to change this politics which, “as far as the epidemic is concerned, is unsuccessful”. He pointed to certain moves by the government, including concerning the media and financing of NGOs.
“This is dismantling of social systems,” said Erjavec, who primarily expects from the deputies of the Modern Centre Party (SMC), who according to him do not feel well in the government, to take responsibility for changing the situation in the country.
SMC head and Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek said last week that all eight SMC deputies were united in their non-support for Erjavec, but the DeSUS president assesses that the statement lacks credibility as it later turned out that this is not the case.
Asked what would happen if SMC deputies fail to contribute their signatures, Erjavec said that “this means that the structure of this National Assembly supports … the absence of the rule of law, attacks on the media, non-financing of NGOs”.
Meanwhile, SMC MP Gregor Perič told a current affairs show on TV Slovenija that MPs faced increasing pressure and that things had gone too far. “We receive mail to our home addresses, emails, there are threats, more or less veiled offers. The political arena is reaching a boiling point.”
Other MPs do not talk about this because they fear making things worse, said Perič, in whose constituency signs had been placed wondering whether he was a hero or a traitor.
Erjavec reiterated that DeSUS guarantees four MP votes for a potential new government. The fifth MP, Robert Polnar, has already been expelled from the party and Erjavec expects him to withdraw from the DeSUS deputy group.
A civil initiative has meanwhile expressed support for the government of Janez Janša and the MPs who cooperate with it, as it believes that it, with the help of the healthcare system, is successful in tackling the Covid-19 epidemic and its consequences.
Prebudimo Slovenijo (Let’s Wake Up Slovenia) added that the moment that some parties had picked to undermine the government was not selected randomly and that an attempted return was being made by “those for whom democracy is only means to make personal gains”.