STA, 26 February 2020 - President Borut Pahor on Wednesday formally nominated Janez Janša, the leader of the Democrats (SDS), for prime minister after four parties reached an agreement forming a centre-right coalition.
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Having joined forces with the Modern Centre Party (SMC), New Slovenia (NSi) and Pensioners' Party (DeSUS) Janša can count on a slim but comfortable majority in the 90-member parliament, which has to vote on the nomination in seven days at the latest.
Janša said the coalition agreement showed the four parties were willing to seek compromise solutions and would work to tackle the most pressing issues that Slovenia faces, even as he acknowledged that it was impossible to achieve everything that had to be done in the two and a half years until the next scheduled election.
He highlighted tackling healthcare, environmental issues and the elderly situation as top priorities. The coalition agreement envisages establishing a government demographic fund to deal with the issue of population ageing.
Moreover, decentralisation and debureaucratisation are expected to be among the potential coalition's main targets.
Janša believes that it goes without saying the parties will also implement any Constitutional Court ruling, including the decision mandating equal funding of private and public primary schools, even if the latter is not written down in the agreement.
He added that he would seek cooperation with the opposition and national minority MPs as well. The coalition plans to sign an agreement outlining national minority issues with the latter.
The likely new prime minister said that the coalition did not initially plan any changes to the government act due to shortage of time. He did say though that amending the budget would be necessary.
Pahor said he was glad the period of political uncertainty following the resignation of Marjan Šarec as prime minister in late January had been so short.
He called on political stakeholders to engage in dialogue and refrain from excluding anyone, while pledging to work together with the government in his capacity as president. "I want this cooperation to be constructive and for the benefit of our country and all the people."
The president expects every one to refrain from any offensive statements or actions and to strengthen trust in the constitutional system.
Asked about alleged intimidation tactics used during coalition formation, Janša said that threats meant the line had been crossed. He deems this kind of pressure illegitimate.
Pahor meanwhile added that public figures were faced with pressure on a regular basis and as long as such pressure was expressed in an appropriate way, that was acceptable. However, he warned against spreading hatred.
Prompted by the press, Janša also touched upon his media relations and Twitter communication, saying "what do you think influences public opinion more? A public accusation in a media outlet watched by 400,000 people or a tweet read by a few thousands? When this is measured in the same way, then we could have a serious discussion about that".
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