Three coalition parties invited to talks on alternative government

Professor Jože P Damijan

Ljubljana – Three junior coalition parties have been invited to join talks on the formation of an alternative government, after the original four opposition members of the Constitutional Arch Coalition reportedly reached a consensus on core priorities.

“I have invited them to participate in an alternative that would significantly improve the functioning of the state during the epidemic and restore the shattered trust after it,” the economist Jože P. Damijan, who offered himself as prime minister of such an alternative government, said in a statement on Thursday.

He said he did not see the parties’ current work in government as an obstacle to “open and candid talks on the possibility of a better alternative, where their efforts would be given greater consideration.”

The Damijan-sponsored talks on an alternative government under the banner of the Constitutional Arch Coalition feature the Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ), Social Democrats (SD), Left and Alenka Bratušek Party (SAB).

Damijan said the four had agreed key priorities revolving around healthcare, solidarity, the environment and development.

The coalition Modern Centre Party (SMC), Pensioners’ Party (DeSUS) and New Slovenia (NSi) have now been invited to join the discussion.

The SMC said it would make its position clear soon but noted that such talks were “the least urgent action in a situation where the country is in a crunch due to the epidemic.”

The NSi likewise said the focus was currently on tackling health and economic issues. But since dialogue has always been an important part of activities for the common good, they intend to engage in the talks.

DeSUS deputy group leader Franc Jurša told the STA the party would talk with Damijan but needed to first agree whether to do that before the 28 November congress or after the new party leadership is elected.

Damijan has come forward as candidate for prime minister but said he was willing to step aside if another candidate is found.