Ljubljana – President Borut Pahor told election winner Robert Golob on Tuesday he would “fully cooperate” in efforts to make sure Slovenia gets a new government soon. He plans to nominate the prime minister-designate around 23 May, which would pave the way for the appointment of the new government in early June.
“Robert Golob has informed me that I will receive the proposal for his election with the requisite number of MP signatures,” Pahor said after the informal meeting at Presidential Palace, their first one-on-one after Sunday’s election.
Pahor said the message delivered by the voters was clear, and that he will not need to take the 30-day window for deliberation after consultations with deputy groups.
Confident that the transfer of power will run as smoothly as it always has, Pahor said that as president of the republic he neither supported nor undermined governments. “I cooperate with them. And I will cooperate with the government that Robert Golob is expected to head.”
Golob said he wanted an operational government “before the holidays”, that is before the summer months. He said the country needed to get ready if the Covid pandemic surges again, and it needed to prepare for high energy prices in autumn.
“Every additional week that we have will be beneficial for everyone,” he said in his first in-person appearance after emerging from isolation due to Covid-19.
Formal coalition talks will start next week, not just with the Social Democrats (SD) and Left but also with parties that have not made it to parliament and civil society groups.
Golob wants to first strike a deal with the SD and Left, whereupon the Freedom Movement will be “open to staff” from the ranks of the civil society and non-parliamentary parties, whereby expertise will be prioritised over party loyalty.
Pahor argued that the outgoing government had a solid track record, but there were “some concerns” that can be addressed “if policy is smart and strategic.”
This will require more cooperation in efforts towards the common good, which Pahor thinks will require of the new government to “secure the understanding, if not the support, of the opposition.”
Golob acknowledged that there were challenges that demanded a two-thirds majority in parliament. “This automatically means talking to the opposition. But at this point, I do not see a need for that.”
The first priority is to make the new government operational and carry out emergency measures in the summer. Talks with the opposition can start in autumn, he said.
Golob once again thanked the voters for the high turnout – which has exceeded 70% now that mail-in ballots have been added to the tally – and for the support his Freedom Movement has received.
“We understand the responsibility that you have given us and humbly accept it,” Golob said.