The Left to Decide Late Monday Whether to Continue Talks with Šarec

By , 30 Jul 2018, 16:44 PM Politics
The two parties' logos The two parties' logos Montage: JL Flanner

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STA, 30 July 2018 - After nearly 14 hours of talks with the five centrist parties on Sunday, The Left (Levica) will decide on Monday whether to resume talks on the remaining open issues and help Marjan Šarec form a coalition government. 

Addressing reporters late last night after the marathon talks, Šarec said that the six parties examined the entire draft coalition agreement in quite a constructive atmosphere, looking into all details.

The Left's executive committee met today to decide whether what they had agreed with the potential coalition partners was a sufficient enough basis to resume the talks and join the coalition.

The six parties have started another meeting in the afternoon. It is not yet clear what the Left has decided, as the party said it would inform the potential coalition partners of its decision before telling the public.

Unofficially, the Left has decided to continue the coalition-building talks although reportedly a wide gap still remains between the Left and the other five parties.

The leader of the Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ) said last night that he felt the Left had serious intentions. "It wasn't like they were looking for dividing issues only so that they could walk out as soon as possible," he said.

He also said that the parties would address open issues this afternoon but would not specify which those issues were. He did say however that there were fewer issues than they had expected.

All of the parties were reluctant to speak about the open issues. But unofficially, the problematic fields include fiscal and defence policies, and privatisation.

The outcome of today's meeting will be discussed by the Left's executive committee and the party council on Tuesday. Moreover, before signing the coalition agreement the Left would also hold an internal referendum to test the members' support.

Asked about the possibility of him forming a minority government with tacit support from the Left, Šarec said: "For the time being we're working on it so that we'll all be coalition members."

Officials from the Left, the Social Democrats (SD), Modern Centre Party (SMC), Alenka Bratušek Party (SAB) and Pensioners' Party (DeSUS) did not make comments after Sunday's round of talks.

The five centrist parties opened talks with the Left after the conservative New Slovenia (NSi) pulled out of talks citing concerns about the stability of such a coalition.

The five parties have 43 MPs between them, while the Left has 9 MPs, which means such a coalition would have 52 MPs in the 90-strong legislature.

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