Parliament Elects New Speaker

Only the opposition Democrats (SDS) and People's Party (SLS) announced that they would vote against Germic prior to the secret ballot.

The new speaker announced that he would be guided by tolerance and responsibility in his work. "I'm only the first among equals who, as I'm aware, are diverse people."

The nearly two-thirds majority he won brings great responsibility, Germic said announcing that he would aspire for consensus so that parliament should adopt good decisions.

Germic said that he would like to say at the end of his term that he united different people in the same goal: a welfare, fair and tolerant Slovenia.

"Our solutions will be good in as much our discussions in society are good, and the key role here is played by the National Assembly as the main forum for dialogue."

Presenting the coalition's candidate to parliament, his party colleague Borut Sajovic described him as a person who enjoys good reputation, respect and trust. "He is a man who will unite, not divide us."

Both Sajovic (LDS) and Dusan Kumer of the senior coalition Social Democrats (SD) underscored the need for parliament to have fully operative leadership to avoid a straining of the political situation in the country.

Prior to the vote, support for Germic was also voiced by Zares, but Franco Juri said that the support was in no way prejudging their support in the other important upcoming votes in parliament.

While he deems Germic an optimal solution on paper, Juri predicted a brief but intense period ahead for him.

The Pensioners' Party (DeSUS), which left the ruling coalition in May, praised Germic's expertise, diligence and inclination to dialogue. Anton Urh called Germic "the man for the job".

The group of non-affiliated MPs, which comprises deputies that defected from the coalition or the parties that used to form it, also announced their unanimous support for the new speaker.

Zmago Jelincic of the opposition National Party (SNS) described Germic as "one of few in the LDS that the SNS will gladly support".

Laszlo Goencz, the deputy representing the Hungarian ethnic minority, said he and his colleague representing the Italian minority would support the candidate who was fit for the job as politician, expert and man.

The SDS voted against the appointment because it believes it is time for the coalition, which is clinging at power at all cost, to take its leave, as Joze Tanko put it.

The fact that the LDS council unanimously voted in favour of a vote of confidence in party leader Katarina Kresal speaks for itself as to which values this party brings in the coalition, Tanko said, adding that Germic was among those who backed Kresal.

Although the SLS believes Germic is a good candidate, the party feels it cannot support the proposal in such a political crisis and agony in the country, Jakob Presecnik said in announcing the party's vote.

The new speaker has been serving as a deputy for three consecutive terms since 2000. Between 2003 and 2004 he served as an observer in the European Parliament, and was an MEP for a time in 2004.

After graduating from chemical engineering at the Maribor Technical Faculty in 1985, he started his career at the Ruse nitrogen factory, but then went on to work as a teaching and research assistant at his former faculty.

After that, he took a job as a teacher at the Ruse Gimnazija secondary school and Secondary School of Chemistry, of which he became the headmaster in 1997.

Germic was the first chair of the the parliamentary EU Affairs Committee, following Slovenia's accession to the bloc in 2004. During the current term he served as the chair of the parliamentary Health Committee.