Pahor says 46 votes not necessary to be given mandate to form govt

Ljubljana – President Borut Pahor urged cooperation after the general election in an interview with RTV Slovenija aired just before polls closed on Sunday. He said he preferred the next PM candidate produce an outright majority, but he will not insist on this. If 46 votes cannot be secured, he will give the mandate to the relative winner.

Pahor, who has been in Slovenian politics for more than 30 years, first commented on what lies in store for the next government. He said difficult times were ahead. “I think this will not be an ordinary term where ordinary problems would be resolved in an ordinary way.”

Post-pandemic recovery will be slower due to the war in Ukraine and other geopolitical tensions in the world, which will entail strategic long-term decisions. Pahor urged cooperation between the new government and opposition in the interview that was aired before the exit polls results were released, projecting Robert Golob and his Freedom Movement to have won the election by a landslide.

Commenting on a record turnout in early voting for the general election, the president said that people were interested in the future. They were also concerned, and some feared what lies ahead. If both sides cooperate, there is no reason for fear, but concerns will remain, he noted, adding: “Slovenia is becoming a democratically mature country.”

In early February, when Pahor formally called the election, he said that afterwards, following consultations with the heads of new deputy factions, he will entrust the mandate to form a government to the PM candidate who will enjoy an outright majority of 46 votes or more in the new National Assembly.

He would still prefer this to happen, but if 46 votes cannot be produced, he will give the mandate to the relative winner.

Asked about what he is expecting after the election, he said “the election winner’s first task is to offer their hand” to the opposite side. He believes Slovenia knows how to cooperate when it’s absolutely necessary.

He does not regret cooperating with the outgoing government, saying not everything has been okay, but that is always the case. Saying he might even hold two rounds of consultations, Pahor urged parties that have made it to parliament to take their time to decide “in which team they can achieve their goals”.