Ljubljana – The college of deputy group leaders has voted against making four newly unaffiliated MPs, including the speaker, members of parliamentary bodies in a victory for what is formally a minority ruling coalition.
Voting against involving the quartet of defectors in the work of parliamentary committees and commissions were the coalition Democratic Party (SDS), New Slovenia (NSi) and Modern Centre Party (SMC) along with the opposition National Party (SNS) and Pensioners’ Party (DeSUS) and one minority MP.
The group of unaffiliated MPs comprises Speaker Igor Zorčič, Janja Sluga and Branislav Rajić, who have quit the SMC, and Jurij Lep, who has defected from DeSUS. DeSUS left the ruling coalition in December, but its MPs have been continuing to support the government.
The centre-left opposition expressed disappointment at the vote with Brane Golubović, the head of the deputy group of the Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ), saying they would seriously consider whether to continue to work in the National Assembly, “which today prevented the work of part of opposition MPs and thus of the opposition”.
SocDem faction leader Matjaž Han expressed sadness, exposing voting by the Italian minority MP Felice Žiža.
The coalition SDS, SMC and NSi have 38 seats between them in the 90-strong assembly, but they have been relying on the support of the three SNS MPs, as well as mostly on the four DeSUS MPs and the Italian and Hungarian MPs.
However, the coalition fell one vote short of an outright majority of 46 votes to dismiss Zorčič as the speaker. They say the will repeat the attempt.