Janša Declares Coalition Dead, Sees Early Elections

By , 14 Jan 2020, 09:22 AM Politics
Janez Janša speaking at an event marking 30 years of the SDS Janez Janša speaking at an event marking 30 years of the SDS sds.si

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STA, 13 January 2020 - Janez Janša, the leader of the opposition Democrats (SDS), believes that the coalition is "clinically dead" and with the current balance of power making it impossible to build a strong alternative majority, he thinks an early election is in the cards.

Janša told TV Slovenija in a rare interview late on Sunday that "it will be clear in the next few weeks" whether someone is ambitious enough to try to put together a government.

"We realize that it is impossible to put together something strong. The dilemma facing us and other parties is: do we prevent damage, or do we give it a sober deliberation whether ... the moment has come," he said.

While acknowledging that neither parties nor MPs or voters want an early election, he said that "some European countries head to the polls multiple times a year".

The former two-time prime minister described the Marjan Šarec government as "clinically dead", having previously being provided "artificial respiration" by the opposition Left.

"It is a political corpse that is cooling. And the speed of cooling depends primarily on the price list of [opposition National Party (SNS) leader] Zmago Jelinčič.

"He's the one who is keeping it alive. You be the judge of to what extent this is in the interest of the state and whether this is the stability that Slovenia needs," Janša told TV Slovenija.

The SNS has most recently helped the government appoint Angelika Mlinar as cohesion minister, providing the missing votes and the necessary abstentions to give the government a majority in parliament.

Speculation about a new coalition were given rise at the end of 2019 after the Left pulled out of a deal to support the minority government.

The right-leaning opposition New Slovenia (NSi) and the coalition Modern Centre Party (SMC) and the Alenka Bratušek Party (SAB) were being mentioned as potentially interested in it.

NSi leader Matej Tonin confirmed on Monday his party was taking part in talks about a potential new coalition, saying "talks on alternative coalitions between some coalition and opposition parties are under way all the time".

"If you're in politics and want to do something good for the state, you have to have your door constantly open and keep the talks going."

Although he declined to predict when a new government coalition could become a reality, he said a potential new prime minister-designate has also been discussed.

But it is Tonin's view that the necessary 46 votes, which the opposition itself does not have, could not be secured in the next few weeks.

Even if it were secured, a potential new government would have a rather weak parliamentary majority, he admitted.

He believes it would be best to form a new coalition after an early election, but admitted that apart from the NSi, nobody in parliament wanted an early election.

While the SAB and the SMC would not comment on Janša's statement, MP Jerca Korče of the ruling Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ) said the government was far from clinically dead.

She considers Janša's statements a destabilisation attempt, encouraging negativism, which she said Janša had been doing since the start of this government's term. Korče stressed the LMŠ was not worried about the talks on a new coalition being under way all the time.

"We are working, this is our duty. The talks others are engaged in are their scenarios reflecting their wish to politically destabilise what is apparently working too well, so it should be slowly undermined."

Speaker Dejan Židan, leader of the coalition Social Democrats (SD), sees Janša's statement as his big wish for him to chair the Council of the EU in the second half of 2021, but he stressed that the incumbent coalition would do it very well.

Židan disagrees with the assessments that the coalition is so paralysed that it is doing only the most urgent things, pointing out it had just recently adopted the state budget.

Luka Mesec of the Left said that his party was not involved in any talks on a potential new coalition.

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