Golob to informally meet Pahor, coalition talks to start Tuesday

Ljubljana/Koper – Robert Golob, the head of the Freedom Movement party that has convincingly won Sunday’s general election, is expected to meet President Borut Pahor informally on Tuesday as the most likely candidate for the prime minister-designate. Talks with the Social Democrats (SD) and Left on forming a new coalition are also expected tomorrow.

Golob discussed this with Radio Koper on Monday, saying that his party’s priorities included forming the core of the future coalition and government, adding that it would talk with all parties of the informal Constitutional Arch Coalition (KUL).

This means that the party will not talk only with the SD and Left, but also the two KUL parties that have been voted out of parliament – the Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ) and Alenka Bratušek Party (SAB).

Golob said the coalition was not only a parliamentary body, assessing that politics had gotten limited to acts in parliament, which is one of the reasons why “people said no to established parties, especially on the centre-left.”

“I think that the coalition is much more, it means cooperation for the good of our society and cooperation does not depend only on how many deputies someone has, but how professional and knowledgable the staff are.”

The head of the party that won 41 seats in the 90-member National Assembly noted that the future coalition was open for staff from the parties that had not made it to parliament, including the LMŠ, SAB, “perhaps even Vesna and Good State”.

Asked about potential cooperation with the parties of the current coalition – New Slovenia (NSi) has implied readiness for cooperation – he said that time would tell in which points programme and project cooperation is possible.

“We believe that this time will come in autumn, and there is still a lot of work to be done by then,” said Golob, adding that his party’s priorities were the ministries of health and finance and a merged infrastructure and environment ministry.

He told Radio Koper that the party already had its candidates for these departments, with physician and MP candidate Danijel Bešič Loredan being tipped for the post of health minister, which he himself confirmed before the election.

According to Bašič Loredan, the health care system will have to be stabilised, the post-Covid strategy changed, waiting times shortened and changes need to be made in procurement in health care and health insurance within one year.

Freedom Movement vice-president Marta Kos, the former Slovenian ambassador to Switzerland, is seen by many as the next foreign minister. “We will need people who are ready to work hard for Slovenia. I’m one of these persons,” she said.

The media have speculated in recent weeks that SD president and MEP Tanja Fajon could be interested in the same post. For now, the SocDems only said that the distribution of departments would be a matter of coalition talks.

Urška Klakočar Zupančič, who had lost her post as the head of the commonhold department at the Ljubljana Local Court due to her leaked Facebook statements about PM Janez Janša, could be entrusted the post of justice minister.

The second vice-president of the Freedom Movement has told the STA it is her “sincere desire to do something to make the country better”, so she will take responsibility if this responsibility is entrusted to her.

In informal circles, president of the Court of Audit Tomaž Vesel has been mentioned as a possible candidate for finance minister. He has been unavailable to the STA for comment.

Golob also talked today with Luka Mesec, the coordinator of the Left, who has decided to seek a vote of confidence from the party’s council due to the Left’s poor showing in the election. The party council will take a position on this in the coming weeks.

The Left said that Golob had no reservations about waiting for the decision on the entire party leadership before starting coalition-building talks. “This is better than entering talks without mandate,” said Left deputy group head Matej T. Vatovec.