Category Archives: Slovenia

Slovenia – New coalition agreed

The long-running governmental crisis in Slovenia looks like it has been resolved. Late last night four parties signed a coalition agreement. This will now be voted on in parliament.

The previous government headed by Janez Janša of the Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS) slowly disintegrated in the face of corruption accusations against the PM. The PM refused to stand down. Gradually, one coalition party after another left the government. Finally, on 26 February PM Janša was replaced by Alenka Bratušek of the Positive Slovenia party in a constructive vote of no-confidence.

PM-designate Bratušek had 15 days to propose a new government. Last night, an agreement was reached between Positive Slovenia (PS), the Social Demsocrats, the Citizens’ List (DL) and the Pensioners’ Party (DeSUS). According to the figures on the National Assembly website, if all these parties vote for the government, then it will have the support of 49 deputies in the 90-seat Assembly.

There is, however, one potential problem. There are reports that DeSUS may be on the verge of splitting. The party leader has suspended his membership. It is not clear to me whether or not the division is related to the process of government formation. If it is not, which is probably the case, then both groups could still support the government. Anyway, there will be a vote in the next few days.

With President Borut Pahor being from the Social Democrats, Slovenia had been experiencing a period of cohabitation since his inauguration on 23 December 2012. However, if the proposed government does come to power, then the period of cohabitation will end.

Slovenia – When will the government collapse?

In Slovenia, PM Janša of the Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS) seems to be experiencing death by a thousand cuts.

The government, which was formed only a year ago, was a coalition of the SDS, the Pensioners’ Party (DeSUS), the Gregor Virant Citizens’ List (DL), the Slovenian People’s Party (SLS), and New Slovenia (NSi).

Slovenia Times reports that at the beginning of January the Corruption Prevention Commission found that PM Janez Janša had violated his duty to report “dealings in cash, ownership of real estate, ownership of movables and standing surety”.

After a period of reflection, the Gregor Virant Citizens’ List (DL) decided to leave the government on 25 January. This left the government in a minority position. Then, on 5 February DeSUS announced that it would leave the government on 22 February. This leaves the government with the support of just 36 of the 91 seats in parliament.

For his part, PM Janša has announced that he will not resign. However, he is increasingly likely to face a constructive vote of no-confidence. At the end of last week there were mass demonstrations both in favour of and against the PM.

While the new president, Borut Pahor, of the opposition Social Democrats, has made a number of interventions, he has very powers with which to shape events. However, if there is a new coalition or an election, then the Social Democrats stand well placed to make gains. Given the current period of cohabitation, this must shape President Pahor’s interpretation of the situation, even though formally he is now independent following his election.

So, there is a sense that the PM cannot survive. However, he refuses to go even as his different coalition partners gradually leave office. Surely, it can only be a matter of time.

Slovenia – Presidential election, 2nd round

The second round of the presidential election in Slovenia was held yesterday. There were two remaining candidates. Here is the result:

  • Borut Pahor (Social Democrats), 67.44%
  • Danilo Türk (Independent), 32.56%

There is some reaction to the election here.

From the perspective of this blog, the result is all the more interesting because it will lead to a period of cohabitation in Slovenia. Currently, the government is a five-party coalition comprising the Slovenian Democratic Party, the Democratic Party of Pensioners of Slovenia (DeSUS), Gregor Virant’s Civic List, the Slovenian People’s Party, and New Slovenia. President-elect Pahor is from the Social Democrats. Indeed, he was the PM of a Social Democrat-led government until February this year.

Slovenia has had one other, difficult-to-categorise, case of cohabitation. The current period of cohabitation will begin on 23 December with the inauguration of the new president.

It must be remembered that the Slovenian president is perhaps the weakest of all directly elected presidents in the world and does not even have the power to veto legislation, to request a second reading in parliament, or to send a bill the the Constitutional Court. So, the president is very much a figurehead. However, we are likely to expect a slightly more active presidency than in recent years.

Slovenia – Presidential election

The first round of the presidential election in Slovenia was held yesterday.

There were three candidates. The incumbent president, Danilo Türk, was standing again. He classes himself as an independent, though he has the support of certain smaller parties. The former PM (2008-2012) and former leader of the Social Democrats, Borut Pahor, was also standing. The third candidate was Milan Zver from the Slovenian Democratic Party, which is the party of the incumbent PM.

The Slovenia Electoral Commission is reporting the following vote:

Borut Pahor: 40.01%
Danilo Türk: 35.83%
Milan Zver: 24.16%

So, there will be a second round of voting on 2 December.

The result was a surprise, because all of the pre-election opinion polls had Danilo Türk leading by a clear margin. Borut Pahor had gained some publicity by his on-the-ground campaigning style this time around, whereby he did a series of different jobs for a short period in order to meet ‘ordinary’ citizens and workers. The polls had shown him narrowing the gap, but still he outperformed expectations. His supporters are reportedly confident that he will win at the second ballot, but then they would be.

Slovenia – Referendum

A referendum was held in Slovenia on Sunday.

The vote was held in relation to a bill passed by the previous government of Borut Pahor. The bill introduced a new family law code. It extended the rights of the child and the rights of same-sex couples.

The bill was rejected. Here are the votes:

No – 54.77%
Yes – 45.23%

Turnout 29.95%

There is information at Wikipedia.

 

Slovenia – New government

Slovenia finally has a government. The new Prime Minister is Janez Janša from the Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS). Janša was previously PM from 2004-2008.

The new government is a five-party coalition comprising SDS, Slovenian People’s Party (SLS), Democratic Party of Pensioners of Slovenia (DeSUS), Gregor Virant’s Civic List (LGV) and New Slovenia (NSi).

The investiture vote was held on Saturday. Janša was approved by 51 votes to 39.

I only have Wikipedia’s election page to go by, but it looks as if the Slovenian President, Danilo Türk, played a role in the government formation process. There is some evidence that he was not happy with Janša’s nomination, preferring Zoran Janković, whose candidacy for PM had been rejected a couple of weeks ago. However, it seems as if parliament went ahead and nominated Janša against the president’s wishes.

Slovenia – No government yet

The legislative election in Slovenia took place in early December. So far, though, no government has been formed.

Here is the party distribution:

Positive Slovenia (PS), 28 seats
Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS), 26 seats
Social Democrats (SD), 10 seats
Gregor Virant’s Civic List (LGV), 8 seats
Democratic Party of Pensioners of Slovenia (DeSUS), 6 seats
Slovenian People’s Party (SLS), 6 seats
New Slovenia (NSi), 4 seats
Others, 2 seats

A majority government needs the support of at least 46 deputies.

Last week, PS, SD, LGV and DeSUS announced a coalition agreement under the leadership of Zoran Janković of Positive Slovenia. However, in the end the LGV group announced that it would not support the agreement. So, when a vote was taken in parliament, Janković received the support of only 42 deputies.

The next attempt at forming a coalition will go to former PM, Janez Janša, who is the head of SDS. In theory a new PM has to be designated by this time next week. If that is impossible, then a new election cannot be ruled out.

Meanwhile, Slovenia was downgraded by the S & P ratings agency at the weekend. So, there is a strong economic imperative to form a stable government.

Slovenia – Parliamentary election

Legislative elections were held in Slovenia yesterday following the fall of Borut Pahor’s Social Democrat-led government in September.

The Slovenian Electoral Commission is reporting the following result:

Positive Slovenia (Lista Zorana Jankovića – Pozitivna Slovenija, PS) – 28.53%, 28 seats (+28 seats)
Slovenian Democratic Party (Slovenska demokratska stranka, SDS) – 26.26%, 26 seats (-2 seats)
Social Democrats (Socialni demokrati, SD) – 10.48%, 10 seats (-19 seats)
Gregor Virant’s Civic List (Državljanska lista Gregorja Viranta) – 8.42%, 8 seats (+8 seats)
Democratic Party of Pensioners of Slovenia (DeSUS) – 6.97%, 6 seats (- 1 seat)
Slovenian People’s Party (Slovenska ljudska stranka, SLS) – 6.9%, 6 seats (+ 1 seat)
New Slovenia (Nova Slovenija, NSi), 4.8%, 4 seats (+4 seats)
Others (Italian and Hungarian minorities) – 2 seats

So, two new parties have emerged, both of which were formed after the election was called. By contrast, two old parties, Zares and SNS, no longer have representation.

I don’t know much about the new parties, except that the PS is a vehicle for the mayor of Ljubljana, Zoran Janković. He ran as an independent in 2000 when he was first elected there. As for Gregor Virant’s Civic List, they may have taken votes from the Slovenian Democratic Party.

A majority government needs the support of at least 46 deputies.

Slovenia – Government support at record low

The government in Slovenia is not very popular. Slovenia Times is reporting an opinion poll in which support for the government stands at only 9.9% with 86.7% opposed.

The situation for PM Borut Pahor is rather tricky. He has to appoint five government ministers after the Zares party left the coalition in June and after the leader of the LDS coalition partner, Katarina Kresal, resigned earlier this month following corruption allegations in her ministry.

Slovenia Times is reporting that PM Pahor will make the appointment of the replacement ministers a matter of confidence early next month. He seems resigned to losing the vote, but is trying to manage the best way, for his party and coalition, of organising the snap election. There is a further Slovenia Times report suggesting that he may propose a constitutional amendment fixing the date of the snap election for next May. To me, this sounds like a bluff. He seems to be playing for time, hoping that his poll ratings will increase.