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.

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