Freedom Movement & partners keen to form govt by 3 June

Ljubljana – The Freedom Movement, the party that won the 24 April general election, and its prospective coalition partners, the Social Democrats (SD) and the Left, would like to form a government by 3 June and will set out the distribution of ministerial briefs between them by the end of the week after the first round of official talks on Tuesday.

Addressing reporters after the talks, Robert Golob, the leader of the Freedom Movement and the likely candidate for prime minister, said they agreed to try to make the earliest possible date to form a government, that is 3 June.

“The pre-condition is that we have agreed on most points before 13 May so that we can go ahead with fast-track formation of parliament,” said Golob after talks with SD leader Tanja Fajon and the Left’s Luka Mesec.

For the time being he said they saw little difficulty in any aspect, even time-frames-wise, which Golob said were “very tight”.

Similarly upbeat, Fajon described the mood during the talks as very good. “We’re starting working on the coalition agreement substance-wise tomorrow practically on a daily basis,” she said.

They agreed to resume working talks on Wednesday and by the end of the week the outlines of a new government should be clearer in terms of distribution of ministerial posts between the prospective coalition partners. Golob said names had not yet been discussed today, with more information expected next week.

The parties plan to initial a coalition agreement by 13 May at the latest, that is before the maiden session of the new National Assembly. Golob said there was no discussion yet whether the speaker would come from his party, but it was an option.

They have touched on how to coordinate programme points and on the government act, but Golob said they had yet to determine what changes to government departments would be made as only baselines were set out today.

Asked whether the SD could get four briefs and the Left three, Golob said: “We’re within those frameworks indeed, plus minus one ministry.”

Speaking on the same point, Fajon said the party would follow its goals, and would keep coordinating on the matter on party bodies, including on whether she would become the foreign minister.

“Some of the speculation in public is not wrong,” said Mesec about the priority briefs of his party. There has been speculation the Left could get the briefs of social affairs, education and culture.

The parties that failed to make it to parliament will fall in the quota of the Freedom Movement with the latter to hold talks separately with those parties initially. Golob would not say whether the former prime ministers, Alenka Bratušek and Marjan Šarec, would make part of his government.

Golob said their plans covered two government terms. “If we are serious about addressing development challenges, we need to look beyond one term,” he said. The priority would be to tackle their seemingly contradictory goals of how to generate value and distribute fairly to attain social justice and solidarity.

The goal should be attained by 2030 “when we again live in a country that we’re not just proud of but that we all want to keep living in”, said Golob, pledging for his government to stop the brain drain and end people feeling bad about the conditions they live in and “about those ruling them”.

“You can expect a strong and stable government that will respect people, listen to the civil society and follow in the footpath of the development decade,” said Fajon. “You can expect a government that will look ahead to 2030, a government that will be operational and after a long while will be a centre-left government,” said Mesec.