Ex-comedian proposed as Slovenia prime minister-designate

August 8, 2018 GMT

LJUBLJANA, Slovenia (AP) — A former comedian whose party finished second in Slovenia’s parliamentary election was proposed on Wednesday as prime minister-designate, more than two months after the inconclusive vote.

The candidacy of 40-year-old Marjan Sarec was formally put forward by five moderate parties — including his own Marjan Sarec list — in a bid to break a political deadlock after weeks of negotiations.

The five groups have garnered support from 43 lawmakers in the 90-member assembly. They hope to win backing from a separate leftist party to form a minority government.

The center-left parties have allied to sideline the top party in the June 3 vote, the anti-immigrant right-wing Slovenian Democratic Party led by former prime minister Janez Jansa. Jansa, an ally of Hungary’s anti-immigrant Prime Minister Viktor Orban, has failed to win support from other parliamentary groups for a right-leaning coalition in traditionally moderate Slovenia.

Slovenia’s parliament is expected next week to vote on Sarec’s bid. If elected, he would become the youngest-ever prime minister in Slovenia, the official STA news agency said.

Sarec is a relative newcomer in top-level politics in Slovenia. He has served as the mayor of the central town of Kamnik and also ran in the presidential election last year, surprisingly forcing a close race in the runoff with incumbent veteran Borut Pahor.

Analysts, however, have predicted that Sarec’s minority government likely would be unstable.