Slovenia anti-migrant party says will try to form coalition govt

Ljubljana – The Slovenian anti-immigration party that came first in last week’s election will attempt to form a coalition government, its leader says, despite falling well short of a parliamentary majority.

“We’ll try to form a coalition for Slovenia,” veteran right-wing leader Janez Jansa said on June 7 after an informal meeting with President Borut Pahor.

Jansa’s Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS) came first in Sunday’s election with under 25 percent of the vote, giving it 25 seats in the 90-seat assembly.

It was well ahead of the “anti-establishment” LMS party of comedian-turned-politician Marjan Sarec, which came second with 12.7 percent and 13 seats.

LMS and other centre-left parties have ruled out a coalition with Jansa and, according to local media reports, have started discussing putting together their own alternative coalition if SDS fails to win the approval of a majority of MPs.

The only party which has so far said it would work with Jansa, the centre-right Nova Slovenija, won just 7.1 percent and seven seats, leaving the two parties well short of the 46 needed for a majority.

Once parliament is officially convened later this month, Pahor is expected to officially ask Jansa to form a government.

Given this, Pahor emphasised the informal nature of Thursday’s meeting and stressed he “was not advocating any particular coalition, but I want any party given a mandate to form a government to be successful”.

Alluding to the possible failure of Jansa to form an administration, Pahor added: “Of course, somebody else can also form the government, but experience has taught us that would only be the second-best option.”

Analysts warn that any alternative government headed by Sarec would have to include a minimum of five parties and could be highly unstable.

Sarec had made clear his unwillingness to work with Jansa throughout the campaign, citing his abrasive anti-immigrant rhetoric and his joint appearances with fellow right-wing firebrand Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.