Ljubljana related

26 Feb 2020, 17:26 PM

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.

New Slovene Govt Announces Policies on Conscription, Borders, Housing, Health, Taxes, Cannabis, EU & More (Feature)

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".

Profile: Janez Janša – Constant Player and Bête Noire of the Left

26 Feb 2020, 08:57 AM

STA, 25 February 2020 - Providing a key seal of approval for a new centre-right government in Slovenia, the executive councils of the Modern Centre Party (SMC), New Slovenia (NSi), the Pensioners' Party (DeSUS), and the Democrats (SDS) all backed on Tuesday the entry into a coalition led by SDS president Janez Janša.

Profile: Janez Janša – Constant Player and Bête Noire of the Left

The nods came after weeks of talks held following the 27 January resignation of PM Marjan Šarec, who had formed a minority centre-left government in September 2018.

The draft coalition agreement was initialled by the four parties on Monday, while consultation talks were held today with President Borut Pahor, who is likely to nominate Janša for his third stint as prime minister on Wednesday.

The parties, which have 48 votes in the 90-member National Assembly, have already divided the ministerial posts among them.

Several media reported that SMC head Zdravko Počivalšek would stay economy minister and DeSUS leader Aleksandra Pivec would remain in charge of the Agriculture Ministry, while NSi head Matej Tonin would become defence minister.

Other names circulated include the SDS's Anže Logar as foreign minister, the SDS's Zvonko Černač as interior minister, the SDS's Andrej Šircelj as finance minister, DeSUS's Tomaž Gantar as health minister, the SMC's Igor Zorčič as justice minister, the NSi's Cveto Uršič as labour, family and social affairs minister, and the NSi's Jernej Vrtovec as infrastructure minister. The SDS will allegedly also head the culture ministry.

Tonin indicated after the NSi's executive council session that the party had expected a little more from the coalition agreement, in particular bolder steps in healthcare.

56 of the NSi's 88 executive council members cast their vote today, all voting in favour.

Tonin confirmed the NSi had gotten the three departments mentioned by the media and that he would be put forward for defence minister. The candidates for the two remaining NSi cabinet posts are on the other hand still being discussed.

The second party to reveal its decision was the SMC, where Jani Möderndorfer, one of the SMC 10 MPs, was the only to vote against.

RTV Slovenija reported that some of the SMC's MPs allegedly received an offer from Marjan Šarec's LMŠ to vote against today and instead join the LMŠ to get favourable treatment on the party's slates in the next general elections.

SMC head Počivalšek told the press after the vote that "Slovenia needs an operational and mature government, capable of facing the challenges ahead".

"It is important to say that this will not be a coalition of one party... of one [party] president, this will be a coalition of four parties operating in consensus.

"This will also be a government for which 47% of voters voted in the last election and I am confident that such a government will work for the good of all of us," said Počivalšek.

Pivec of DeSUS revealed her party's decision shortly after, saying DeSUS was content with what it secured in the coalition negotiations.

Along with the agriculture and health minister, DeSUS is also expected to head the planned government demographic office. The vote on the executive council was 12:1 and on the council 45:5.

Addressing the press on behalf of the SDS was the party's MP Anže Logar, who explained that 219 of 219 SDS executive council members had voted in favour today.

He hopes the decisions adopted today will also be reflected in the parliamentary votes on the PM nominee and the ministerial team, which he hopes will proceed promptly.

Keep up with Slovenian politics here

25 Feb 2020, 16:06 PM

STA, 25 February 2020 - The Democrats (SDS), Modern Centre Party (SMC), New Slovenia (NSi) and Pensioners' Party (DeSUS) have reached an agreement on forming a coalition, the head of the SDS deputy group Danijel Krivec announced on Tuesday.

He said the SDS's proposal to appoint party head Janez Janša prime minister had already been forwarded to President Borut Pahor.

The four parties have found common ground and the final decisions of the executive bodies of the SMC, NSi and DeSUS are expected this evening, Krivec said.

He noted that the SDS had secured 26 MP votes for the appointment of the new government while the number of additional votes would be clear this evening.

The SDS deputy head did not confirm unofficial information that the draft coalition agreement was initialled on Monday.

He also said that staffing decisions were yet to be finalised and did not confirm unofficial media reports on the distribution of ministries among the four parties.

He said this would depend on the decision of parties' bodies.

According to unofficial reports, SMC head Zdravko Počivalšek would stay economy minister and DeSUS leader Aleksandra Pivec would remain in charge of the Agriculture Ministry, while NSi head Matej Tonin would become defence minister.

Pahor is conducting a second round of talks on the coalition building with the heads of SMC, NSi and DeSUS deputy groups today.

SMC deputy group head Igor Zorčič told Pahor that a draft coalition agreement among the SDS, SMC, NSi and DeSUS had been agreed on Monday evening.

He said the agreement met the SMC's demands and dispelled fears about some SDS policies that had been raised by the civil society.

He also said that an agreement had been reached on the distribution of government posts but he would not go into detail.

Both was confirmed by NSi deputy group head Jožef Horvat after his meeting with Pahor. But Horvat stressed that the final decision would be made by the party council this evening.

Horvat said it had been agreed that the NSi would nominate the defence, infrastructure and labour ministers. The party has not picked the candidates yet.

DeSUS deputy group head Franc Jurša said the coalition agreement included the establishment of an office for demographics, which the party would lead along with the ministries of agriculture and health.

If all three deputy group heads express support to Janša as prime minister, Pahor will hold an official meeting with him on Wednesday. If they do not, Pahor will notify the National Assembly that he will be not putting forward a PM-designate.

The deadline for his decision is this Friday.

All our stories on Janez Janša are here

20 Feb 2020, 09:36 AM

STA, 19 February 2020 - Tensions are running high as the police and the Democrats (SDS) clashed over the jurisdiction of the parliamentary Commission for Intelligence and Security Services Oversight (KNOVS), which wanted to investigate on Tuesday allegations that police had been spying on coalition party heads on behalf of outgoing Prime Minister Marjan Šarec.

Three KNOVS members made an unannounced visit to the police headquarters yesterday, investigating the suspicion that Šarec and his state secretary Damir Črnčec abused the police to gain information to extort party leaders in coalition-building talks with the SDS.

Šarec and Črnčec - the latter ran both national intelligence agencies under Janša's rule - both denied the allegations, with Šarec saying that the media "close to the SDS...are obviously describing their own methods".

He believes the SDS, whose MP Žan Mahnič led Tuesday's visit by KNOVS, is abusing the commission for political purposes.

"Independent institutions are investigating Hungarian funds which are flowing we all know where and attention has to be diverted," he said in reference to alleged by-bass funding of the SDS or the media associated with the party through circles close to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

Črnčec denied the allegation through his lawyer, and posted a lengthy post on Facebook this morning, criticising Janša. He also wondered why and for how much Janša had "sold Slovenia's national interests to Hungary".

He said in a post that Janša's and him parted ways parted when he had realised that "the SDS apparatus operates on the principles of a mafia business, where all paths lead to its leader and his inner circle".

Meanwhile, the police force also issued a determined response, underlining it is not "a dislocated unit of any politician or of any political organisation."

Police Commissioner Tatjana Bobnar said in a statement that the three members of KNOVS had tried to gain access to information that were beyond the scope of their legal powers.

The police said they wanted the names of police officers who potentially accessed records of certain MPs and information about ongoing investigations, including in cases without covert methods, the latter being in the domain of KNOVS.

Bobnar said the police would not give in to pressure from anybody and called for an election campaign built on arguments and not made-up stories at the expense of the police force and threats to its leadership. She vowed that the police would do everything in its power to prevent the spread of fake news within the force.

She also noted KNOVS deputy chair Žan Mahnič warned her she might want to think about her future because she would face criminal charges if the commission finds out that she was covering up political abuse of the police force. The statement interpreted as a threat was witnessed by Bobnar's deputy, as well as the boss of the criminal police departments.

Mahnič later tried to downplay this, announcing that a different parliamentary commission that is already looking into alleged politically-motivated prosecution would look into the spying allegations and demand the material that was denied to KNOVS.

The commission demands that the police provide within 10 days a list of all interventions into police records for any of the 90 MPs, all the cabinet ministers and the outgoing prime minister.

The General Police Administration said that the police had started checking the allegations and that the state prosecution would be kept informed.

Most parliamentary parties have expressed concern over the allegations. They believe that the matter should be investigated and all suspicions clarified.

According to reports by news portal Požareport, the alleged mission by Črnčec and Šarec targeted friends of Zdravko Počivalšek, the outgoing minister of economy and the head of the Modern Centre Party (SMC) and MPs of the SMC, as well as MPs of the Pensioners' Party (DeSUS) and of the Alenka Bratušek Party (SAB).

Meanwhile, the Left's MP Miha Kordiš labelled the developments as usual political scandaling, and took aim at the SDS.

The party and Janša have abused state institutions many times, he said, adding that Črnčec also belonged to that school of thought. It would not be surprising if the prime minister "has developed this bad habit too", he said.

19 Feb 2020, 13:48 PM

STA, 19 February 2020 - Prime Minister Marjan Šarec has denied allegations that he and his State Secretary Damir Črnčec demanded information from the police about party officials in coalition-building talks with the Democrats (SDS) so as to pressure them to withdraw from the talks.

"When various portals close to the SDS report that I ordered lists and whatever else about parties in government negotiations it is clear that they are describing their own methods," Šarec tweeted last night.

"This is an attack on the police force without comparison. I believe that things would work that way with [SDS]. Maybe they already did in the past," he also said in the tweet posted after it was reported that the parliamentary Commission for the Oversight of Intelligence and Security Services (KNOVS) had visited the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) [that story is here].

On Facebook this morning Šarec said: "This is the same scenario all over again; a few KNOVS members make an unannounced visit to the NBI and the police. Because the NBI is allegedly being abused to persecute political opponents.

"But in truth, KNOVS is the one being abused and nobody else. Independent institutions are investigating Hungarian funds which are flowing we all know where and attention has to be diverted."

Yesterday's inspection was headed by KNOVS vice president Žan Mahnič, a member of the SDS, the party associated with media that have allegedly received funding from circles close to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

It was reported last week that the NBI was investigating alleged funding from Hungary to two media outlets close to the SDS, which the SDS has no denied. However, the police said yesterday in relation to this that they were not investigating illegal funding of political parties but a criminal act investigated ex officio.

Šarec's State Secretary Črnčec issued a statement through his lawyer last night denying reports by the right-leaning Demokracija that he had spun a web of spies.

This morning, he also took to Facebook, posting a strong-worded criticism of SDS leader Janez Janša. Črnčec used to be an associate of Janša's and was appointed the head of the Intelligence and Security Agency at the Ministry of Defence in 2005 when Janša was first prime minister and became the head of the National Intelligence and Security Agency SOVA in 2012 when Janša was prime minister a second time.

Today, he said that Janša's modus operandi was harmful to democracy and right-wing political parties. He said that their ways parted when he realised that "the SDS apparatus operates on the principles of a mafia business, where all paths lead to its leader and his inner circle".

He said he needed a while to realise the ramifications of Janša's modus operandi, which, he says entails submissiveness to foreigners while systemically undermining vital social subsystems, like freedom of speech and other constitutional values, in Slovenia.

"Yesterday's fake news about alleged mass espionage, the abuse of KNOVS by MPs of the SDS, and the attack on the police show how close Slovenia is to slipping into Janševist authoritarianism, funded with no-good money from abroad."

In his post, Črnčec also wonders "why and for how many Judas silver coins or millions did [Janša] sell Slovenia's national interests to its eastern neighbour".

18 Feb 2020, 10:05 AM

STA, 17 February 2020- The secretary general of the Alenka Bratušek Party (SAB) Jernej Pavlič rejected on Monday speculation that SAB was considering joining a potential centre-right government. "Talks on entering a Janez Janša government never took place and we'll never engage in them," he said, adding SAB's deputy group stood united in this respect.

Pavlič explained that SAB had only exchanged two emails with the head of the Democrats (SDS), informing him they could not attend the first round of talks hosted by him because of meetings scheduled for the party's bodies on the same day.

Pavlič said Janša replied by saying that SAB obviously lacked interest and was excluding itself from the talks for the time being. "He was correct in establishing this," he said.

Pavlič added that SAB, a centre-left party with 5 MPs which was part of the recently disbanded coalition, would not abandon its priorities, which include pensioners, public education and public healthcare.

"The priories are not in line with the coalition emerging under Janša. We don't intend to give up on our priorities merely to keep our seats or any other posts," Pavlič said.

As for the speculation that some of SAB's MPs may join Janša after all, he acknowledged some statements had been made or interpreted the wrong way, but added it had been clarified now that SAB will remain an opposition party in case of a Janša government and support good proposals.

SAB on the other hand still has not given up on its initiative for a new "project-based government" that would focus on key projects until a new election is called under a revised electoral law.

Talks have already been held with the Pensioners' Party (DeSUS), New Slovenia (NSi) and the SocDems and a meeting is also scheduled with the Modern Centre Party (SMC), Pavlič explained.

Scholars protest Janša

Meanwhile, a group of left-leaning scholars warned today against a potential Janša-led government, writing in a letter that this could quickly lead Slovenia into the circle of EU members listed as violators of democratic principles, the rule of law, of media independence and human rights.

Led by sociologist Rudi Rizman, the 74 scholars, among them eight former university rectors, say the SDS was unacceptable because its authoritarian and nationalist populist traits presented a great danger for democratic culture and political processes in the country.

It is also unacceptable in terms of economic and social affairs, the SDS being bent on ruthless privatisation of companies, of public education and healthcare, the petition says, while also noting the SDS is a denier of human influence on climate change.

It is moreover "completely unacceptable because it is funding its propaganda illegally from foreign sources that are closely connected to the authoritarian government of the neighbouring country, which means a serious peril to our sovereignty and financial independence".

The petition comes after a group that included 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 last week 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 the belief that a snap election would not change the balance of powers. It would only widen Slovenia's development gap and slow down preparations for the EU presidency in 2021.

12 Feb 2020, 10:03 AM

STA, 11 February 2020 - The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI, Nacionalnega preiskovalnega urada – NPU, “Slovenia’s FBI”)) is investigating the funding of some media outlets close to the Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS), public broadcaster TV Slovenia reported. The police refuse to comment.

The media are suspected of having received funding from Hungarian business people with close ties to Fidesz, the party of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, TV Slovenija said.

The news comes after web portal necenzurirano.si reported on Monday that EUR 4 million were transferred since August 2018 from accounts in the UK and Hungary to accounts in Slovenia.

EUR 1.5 million allegedly ended up on the accounts of media companies NovaTV24.si and Nova Hiša, the broadcaster of the TV programme and publisher of Nova24TV.

Related: Hungary’s Influence in Prekmurje and Beyond

The rest allegedly went to North Macedonia for the purchase of media companies from the circle of Macedonia's biggest opposition party VMRO-DPMNE.

Necenzurirano.si also said that the funds were the key source of income for NovaTV24.si and Nova Hiša.

In 2018, total earnings of NovaTV24.si reached EUR 1.54 million, only EUR 300,000 more than the total sum of Hungarian funds since August 2018 until today. Whereas the earnings of Nova Hiša in 2018 reached EUR 324,000.

The portal said that the two media are close to the SDS, because several party members sit on the management board of NovaTV24.

Related: Parliamentary Committees Condemn Hungarian Interference in Slovenian Media

SDS leader Janez Jaša accused NBI head Darko Muženič in a tweet today that he had allowed millions to be laundered in NLB bank and was now investigating the media that reported about it.

The SDS has repeatedly rejected speculation about illegal funding for the party from abroad. What is more, the party has threatened to sue outgoing Prime Minister Marjan Šarec for saying that the SDS had received funds from Hungary.

10 Feb 2020, 11:18 AM

STA, 10 February 2020 - Ksenija Klampfer, the outgoing labour minister, has stepped aside as a vice-leader of the Modern Centre Party (SMC), quitting the party in protest at tentative coalition talks with the Democrats (SDS). Meanwhile, Miro Cerar, the former leader of the SMC, has ruled out being part of a government led by SDS leader Janez Janša.

In a letter addressed to SMC leader Zdravko Počivalšek and distributed to media outlets, Klampfer says her decision to quit is due to her disapproving of how the party is being run, in particular after Prime Minister Marjan Šarec's resignation two weeks ago.

Listing her achievements as minister of labour, the family, social affairs and equal opportunities, Klampfer says that her discussion with Počivalšek the morning before Šarec's resignation showed that "work is not appreciated, that more than work it is populism that counts".

"Under your leadership, the party is increasingly moving course away from the views of people who brought the party the nobleness of socio-liberal values (...) My belief is being confirmed with daily calls by party colleagues who are getting ready to quit the SMC," she writes.

Noting that back in 2017 as the head of the Maribor administrative unit she banned a concert by Croatian ultra-nationalist singer Thompson, Klampfer says that she has never since received any support for her efforts from the party leadership, not even as she encountered problems as minister.

"As vice-president you have never engaged me in the party's work and this makes all the accusations and insults related to that all the more unacceptable. I have somehow reconciled myself to that, but what is happening today I cannot accept.

"We are negotiating on joining a right-wing government, with a completely different ideology. With a party that openly supports Thompson's ultra-nationalism and the far-right Hungarian Prime Minister Orban, who is being followed with concerns by whole Europe."

Adding that the SDS also denies climate change and has a different view of the Second World War, Klampfer says that she believes a person and politician needs to stay true to themselves and their values.

Arguing that despite the storms it has gone through, the party still has a lot of good and capable members who believe in solidarity and dialogue, and who are strangers to rightist ideology, Klampfer appeals to Počivalšek to reconsider where he is taking the party, and to listen to people.

Počivalšek responded with a written statement regretting the decision and expressing surprise. "Slamming the door may be momentarily likeable, but it is also politically immature," he said.

"True, the political circumstances have changed substantially in recent weeks, but this should not absolve the party's leadership of its responsibility to voters and deter it from looking for solutions for the benefit of the party."

He thinks the fact that Klampfer notified him of her decision at almost the same time as she informed the media sheds light on the true background of her decision - "yielding under the weight of public pressure on the SMC to subjugate its future political decisions to the interest of other parties."

Klampfer resigned after the party, set up shortly before the 2014 general election by Miro Cerar, a later prime minister who has served as foreign minister in the outgoing government, entered talks with the SDS in a bid to form a government coalition to replace the Šarec government.

As leader of the party until September 2019, Cerar had been ruling out a coalition with SDS leader Janez Janša. According to the right-leaning magazine Reporter, Cerar has written a letter to Počivalšek too, reiterating his opposition to a Janša-led government.

"Since entering politics I have always advocated the same principles and opposed the politics personified by Janez Janša," Cerar says in the letter.

"I obviously support the efforts by the SMC leader to lead dialogue with all parties but with the goal of forming a coalition to be led by a person who implements democratic values in practice and higher political culture. In case a government is formed under Janša's leadership I cannot take part in it."

Cerar also expressed regret that Šarec failed to justify their trust, arguing that he had not run the government in a unifying enough way, and failed to provide the conditions to smoothly continue the planned work and reforms.

Počivalšek said the SMC had always been liberal and tolerant to other opinions, which was why he saw Cerar's letter as "an expression of his own will and opinion, to which everyone in the SMC is entitled."

Before resuming talks with the SDS on Tuesday, the SMC met the LMŠ today to discuss the possibility for the two parties to run on a joint slate in a potential snap election. The details of the talks have not been disclosed yet.

08 Feb 2020, 11:43 AM

The covers and editorials from leading weeklies of the Left and Right for the work-week ending Friday, 7 February 2020

Mladina: SMC should not join SDS-led government

STA, 7 February 2020 - Looking at the prospects of a coalition led by the Democrats (SDS) being formed after the demise of the Marjan Šarec government, the left-wing weekly Mladina argues in Friday's commentary that the Modern Centre Party (SMC), seen as key to an SDS-led government, should not join forces with the SDS since this risked undermining democracy.

Recalling the policies of SDS and its leader Janez Janša, Mladina says that the party has been "driving the nation mad for thirty years" by creating a state of emergency all the time, recently leveraging a "special propaganda machine financed by the 'friend' Viktor Orban, the prime minister of Hungary, who is not concealing his desire to first economically and then politically subjugate Slovenia."

"The SDS made this pact with Orban to ascend to power with his help. In 2018 it did not succeed, making Orban angry. Now Janša has a new opportunity to carry out what he is expected to do," Mladina says in its editorial.

Arguing that this is the framework, the "political ring" in which Slovenian parties operate, the paper says that this game is destructive for everyone who engages in it. It destroyed former SMC president Miro Cerar and, to a significant extent, Marjan Šarec.

"Is it possible, then, that the SMC enters a government led by this man and this party, after what they have been through because of him? And with the awareness of what kind of historical burden they are taking on," the paper wonders.

"Janša needs SMC deputies to complete his mission, just like Orban needs Janša to carry out his plan to economically subjugate Slovenia to Hungary. Does the SMC really think they can stop this from the inside? In the five and a half years they have spent in Slovenian politics, have they not seen and grasped the dimensions of the politics that Janša represents?

"There is no good reason why after all this the SMC should buy into his latest provocation and allow itself to be used as the horse on which his ostracising policy and money from his master in Hungary will be brought to Slovenia.

"MPs are not in parliament to form governments. Yes, they do that as well. But the reason why we vote for them in general elections is because they are the guardians of democracy. These are their toughest moments. But this is exactly why we call them representatives of the people," the paper concludes in Guardians of Democracy.

Reporter: Politics revolves around Janša

STA, 3 February 2020 - Looking at the political situation in Slovenia following the resignation of Prime Minister Marjan Šarec, the right-leaning weekly Reporter speculates it will all revolve around Democrat (SDS) leader Janez Janša again if an attempt is mounted to forge a new coalition to avert a snap election.

It has long been known that the only thing Janša is interested in domestically is the office of the prime minister. It is also clear he is not willing to step aside in favour of another SDS politician to make it easier to forge a coalition, the paper says in Monday's commentary Shock Doctrine.

"Janša would enter a coalition with anyone just to become prime minister for the third time. Two years ago almost everybody rejected him, now the situation is different," the commentator says, singling out the Modern Centre Party (SMC) and Pensioners' Party (DeSUS) as the most likely coalition partners alongside New Slovenia (NSi).

"Janša's chance of becoming prime minister is definitely better than two years ago, perhaps it is in fact his last opportunity. If he fails yet again, his SDS may suffer in the event of a snap election. The additional voters that Janša badly needs to supplement his loyal base may wonder why he should get their vote if he cannot put together a coalition."

"But if a snap election is held, it will be yet another election against Janez Janša. And this is what Marjan Šarec is counting on - fear of Janša," Reporter concludes.

All our posts in this series are here

07 Feb 2020, 09:54 AM

STA, 6 February 2020 – The Pensioners' Party (DeSUS) leader Aleksandra Pivec has received a death threat warning her against entering a coalition with the Democratic Party (SDS), the commercial broadcaster POP TV reported on Thursday.

Pivec, the minister in charge of agriculture, confirmed for POP TV that she received a letter with inappropriate contents on Wednesday.

The letter bore her name and was sent to Parliament House, said Pivec, adding that she handed it to the police immediately.

She did not want to elaborate on the contents of the letter due to safety measures being taken. The broadcaster however said that the letter was a very direct threat against her life if she took her party into a coalition with the SDS.

POP TV reported that Pivec had been placed under police protection. The police, however, has not confirmed this for the STA so as not to undermine the safety of protected persons.

The police indicated, indirectly, that an investigation had been launched.

On Friday, Pivec is planned to meet with SDS head Janez Janša, who is testing the waters to see whether parliamentary parties are willing to form a coalition with the SDS after Prime Minister Marjan Šarec resigned on 27 January.

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