President Pahor Makes Detailed Case for Janša-led Govt.

By , 07 Jun 2018, 11:36 AM Politics
Borut Pahor and Janez Janša 10 February 2012 Borut Pahor and Janez Janša 10 February 2012

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STA, 7 June 2018 - President Borut Pahor argues in an interview for Primorske novice, published before his post-election meeting today with the relative winner Janez Janša of the Democrats (SDS), that it would be more useful "and easier for everyone if the winner of the election is successful in his effort to form a government". 

Pahor said that "experience has thought us that alternative scenarios are not the best option".

He highlighted the short duration of the terms of the governments formed by Janez Janša and Alenka Bratušek after the winner of the 2011 election Zoran Janković failed to build a coalition.

Pahor is aware that he risks "the reproach that I'm pushing for a Janša-led government". "This is not true, I'm arguing for a government that is formed by the winner. In this case it is him," he said.

The alternative, a centre-left government, would "require much more coordination, patience and compromise". "Also, the running of the government would be much more complicated than we would wish," he said, indicating the left side of the political spectrum was too fragmented.

He went on to point to the global trend of "strong political leaders, including in countries with a long democratic tradition".

"Many people find it attractive to have a leader who fills in the shortcomings of democracy," the former prime minister and president of the SocDems said.

"Contrary to those who are quick to conclude that this leads to authoritarianism, I'm not so sure that these two things are necessarily connected. People are looking for strong leaders who they trust will be able to take care of things."

Pahor is convinced that this does not entail any problems in case the democratic institutions are strong enough. He feels the examples of Mitterrand, Kohl and Churchill apply here.

This is why he is "reserved with respect to painting apocalyptic scenarios in case a strong political persona takes over the government".

Janša "is the winner and the will of the people needs to be taken into account, he has the right to be the first PM-designate".

The president is not thinking about another early election, saying it is absolutely too soon for that.

"I don't want to urge an agreement among political rivals. But I really am asking them to talk. As a president and as a citizen. Acting differently would fuel the belief that insurmountable obstacles exist - not only among politicians but also among voters," Pahor said.

He feels "slightly more effort may be necessary than has been the case so far" to form a government, he however also warned that Slovenia cannot afford to wait too long.

"Some important decisions, including the sale of NLB bank, a resuming of negotiations with public sector trade unions, the enforcement of the border arbitration decision" await the new government, he said.

"In case the wait is too long, the financial markets would react first and after that discontent would also start growing among the people," Pahor said.

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