SMC Ends Talks with LMŠ, No End to Uncertainty as to Election or New Coalition in Slovenia

By , 13 Feb 2020, 09:05 AM Politics
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STA, 12 February 2020 - Two weeks after the resignation of PM Marjan Šarec, the Modern Centre Party (SMC) indicated on Wednesday that a snap election-entailing alliance proposed by Šarec's party looked increasingly unlikely, while coalition talks with the Democrats (SDS) were going as expected.

SMC deputy group head Igor Zorčič told the press that the details of the deal the SMC had been offered by the Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ), which wants to see a snap election called, were unacceptable.

Allegedly, the LMŠ offered the SMC a joint candidate list, proposing that a third of the candidates come from the SMC. This, however, is too little for the SMC, which wants a half of the candidates from its ranks.

Zorčič was moreover critical of Šarec commenting on the talks between LMŠ and SMC. "On the one hand, party heads authorised deputy group leaders to lead the talks, and on the other Šarec keeps on commenting for the media."

As for the ongoing talks with the SDS, which is also discussing coalition cooperation with New Slovenia (NSi) and the Pensioners' Party (DeSUS), Zorčič said that some of SMC's ten MPs found some "forms of coalition" more acceptable than others.

Nonetheless, the deputy group is united in its position to continue talking with the SDS, the biggest party in parliament that spent the past year in opposition after failing to put together a coalition.

When asked how many SMC MPs SDS head Janez Janša could count on, Zorčič said that he would be informed in time, adding that the "yield" of the talks would play a decisive role in this.

He believes that the distribution of ministries among potential partners is "a very important element that will affect the support for the coalition".

"Some ministries have a more state-building character, other less so. This means that ideological issues can be more exposed in some ministries and less in others."

Zorčič also indicated that the staffing questions do not concern only the distribution of ministries, but also the name of the potential next prime minister.

He did not provide any more detailed comments about the wishes of the parties involved in talks, but said that the talks were going according to expectations.

Today, a group of people including Žiga Turk, the reform minister in Janša's second government, former MEP from the ranks of the SDS Romana Jordan, economists Igor Masten and Sašo Polanec, and banker Marko Voljč called for the formation of an inclusive and operational coalition.

They addressed a letter to all parliamentary parties bar the Left and the National Party (SNS), expressing belief that a snap election would change the balance of powers. It would only widen Slovenia's development gap and slow down preparations for the EU presidency in 2021.

Janša welcomed the letter, noting that the SDS had invited all parliamentary parties to take part in coalition-building talks. Speaker Dejan Židan, whose SocDems refuse to negotiate with the SDS, meanwhile responded that the best way to such a coalition was through a snap election, the newspaper Večer said.

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