NSi Rejects Coalition Talks, So Šarec Moves to The Left

By , 25 Jul 2018, 12:26 PM Politics
The Left's Luka Mesec on the left, and Marjan Šarec on the right The Left's Luka Mesec on the left, and Marjan Šarec on the right Montage: JL Flanner, using images from the parties' Facebook pages

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STA, 25 July - After the conservative party New Slovenia (NSi) declined to return to coalition talks with the five centre-left parties led by Marjan Šarec, his party extended an invitation to the Left to join the talks, which Šarec said would be conducted in "good faith". 

The Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ) sent out an official invitation to the Left on Wednesday after Šarec announced the move on his Facebook profile late last night.

His post came after NSi leader Matej Tonin declined the offer to return to the Šarec-led talks in a tweet saying that the NSi would not want to be an obstacle in talks with the Left.

Meeting on Tuesday, Šarec and the leaders of the Social Democrats (SD), Modern Centre Party (SMC), Alenka Bratušek Party (SAB) and the Pensioners' Party (DeSUS) decided to give the NSi one more chance to return to talks before they extend an invitation to the Left.

In his Facebook post Šarec said that the renewed invitation to the NSi was the result of a decision that progress should be made considering that it has been almost two months since the general election, "and we were elected to work, not to manoeuvre".

In response to Tonin's argument that nothing had changed and that new facts were not to be expected in the second round of attempts to build an absolute majority to appoint a prime minister-designate, Šarec ascertained that "the possibilities involving the NSi have been exhausted, so talks with the Left will start. In good faith."

He said that "a chief virtue in politics is patience, something that the LMŠ has shown a great deal of and will not run short of in the future. The developments are not as fast as we would want them to be, but we understand that this is the nature of state politics."

Šarec pledged for his party to do everything in its power to build the necessary majority in parliament, and that they would never negotiate in bad faith. "If it comes to a snap election, we will be prepared, but we won't take the blame. Everyone must do their part of the job, not just the LMŠ."

Confirming the invitation to the Left, Šarec told the press today that the talks were expected to start tomorrow, and that they would be conducted under the same scenario as they had been with the NSi.

According to Šarec, the Left will be sent a draft coalition agreement which had been agreed on with the remaining potential coalition partners. It is not the draft that has been agreed on with the NSi, he added.

Šarec is not sure whether representatives of all five parties will sit at the table tomorrow, but he is sure that representatives of the LMŠ and the Left will be there.

He reiterated that the talks with the Left would be "serious" and that the party would not waste time. "Our goal is to make progress in the second round and this is all that interests us", he added.

Left leader Luka Mesec, who described a renewed invitation to the NSi yesterday as irresponsible and ludicrous, confirmed that the party had accepted the invitation for coalition talks by the LMŠ.

Mesec said that he had told Šarec there was little time to make an agreement as the Left needed to carry out an internal referendum among all party members before signing a coalition agreement.

He told the press that the Left wanted to reach a compromise regarding its key priorities, including eradication of poverty, higher wages, improving the healthcare system, and environmental protection.

The Left expects to receive a draft coalition agreement today, Mesec said, adding that the LMŠ had promised that "all concessions given to the NSi" would be deleted from it.

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