Slovenia right-wing leader to seek coalition government

June 7, 2018
Janez Jansa, right-wing opposition Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS) leader, right, speaks to journalists after casting his ballot at a polling station in Ljubljana, Slovenia, Sunday, June 3, 2018. Slovenians are voting in a parliamentary election with polls predicting that an anti-immigrant party will win the most votes but not enough to form a government on its own.(AP Photo)

LJUBLJANA, Slovenia (AP) — Slovenia’s leading right-wing politician, whose party won most votes at last weekend’s parliamentary election, said Thursday he will try to form a coalition government even though most parliamentary groups have ruled out an alliance with him.

Former prime minister Janez Jansa met with President Borut Pahor, who formally appoints the prime minister-designate in the small European Union nation.

Moderate groups that made it into the assembly, however, have started separate meetings to discuss forming a coalition of their own.

Jansa’s anti-immigrant Slovenian Democratic Party won 25 percent of the vote on Sunday, or 25 seats, which means he must gain support from other parties in the 90-member parliament to become prime minister.

“I will try to form a coalition for Slovenia,” Jansa said. He added he would not stall the process if someone else secures a majority.

Also on Thursday, anti-establishment leader Marjan Sarec, who came in second in the election, reiterated after meeting outgoing Prime Minister Miro Cerar that they won’t ally with Jansa and his SDS.

Sarec, whose List of Marjan Sarec party holds 13 seats, stressed he didn’t wish to form an “anti-Jansa government” but a “development-oriented one,” according to the STA news agency.

Cerar, whose Modern Center Party has 9 seats, urged a future coalition agreement “that would be good for Slovenia and based on a commitment to the rule of law, human rights and more prosperity.”

Analysts have predicted that post-election talks will be long and complex because nine parties are represented in the assembly.

Jansa’s election success reflects a surge in right-wing populism in central and eastern Europe. He has established links with Hungary’s firebrand prime minister, Viktor Orban.

Once one of the republics in communist-run Yugoslavia, Slovenia joined the EU in 2004 and started using the euro as its currency in 2007.

All contents © copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.