Ljubljana (AFP) – Slovenian President Borut Pahor on Friday said he will ask the anti-migrant SDS party, which came out top in this month’s elections, to try and form a coalition government.
“I will entrust the party that won the most votes by far with forming a government,” Pahor told lawmakers at the opening of the new parliament.
During the June 3 elections, Janez Jansa’s centre-right Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS) won 25 of the 90 seats in parliament, becoming the biggest single party in the assembly.
That was well ahead of the anti-establishment LMS of comedian-turned-politician Marjan Sarec which came second, winning 13 seats.
Shortly after the election, Jansa said his party would seek to form a coalition, inviting all parties to begin talks.
The 59-year-old, a veteran rightwinger who also served as prime minister between 2004-2008, has made few press appearances although he did so last weekend as he held private talks with Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban.
The Slovenian president said that if he thought anyone else could command majority support within parliament, he would recall the mandate from Jansa.
LMS has started unofficial talks on an alternative centre-left coalition, meeting with all party leaders except Jansa, with whom he has ruled out any collaboration.
So far, the only party openly prepared to join Jansa in coalition is the centre-right Nova Slovenija (NSi), with seven seats — giving them a total of 32, well short of the 46 needed for a majority.
In an attempt to win NSi support for a centre-left coalition and until a clear majority is reached, Sarec proposed NSi’s leader Matej Tonin as parliament’s speaker, a post traditionally occupied by the coalition party’s junior partner.
Tonin was appointed with the support of 80 out of the 89 lawmakers present at the session, including members of Jansa’s SDS.
Pahor said he would begin talks with party leaders next week as he seeks to meet a 30-day deadline for forming a new government.
The Slovenian press has mooted the possibility of a longer period of uncertainty, which could result in a return to the polls within months.