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Slovenia: President Pahor calls for meeting of party leaders

Slovenian President Borut Pahor’s initiative for a meeting with party leaders struck a chord early after two parliamentary parties, Marijan Šarec List (LMŠ) and the Left, refused to respond to the invitation.

The purpose of the meeting is to reach a consensus on the need for the country to focus on epidemics, a post-pandemic recovery and the EU presidency. Despite the refusal of both parties, Pahor still has high expectations for the meeting.

He gave the invitation to the presidents of all parliamentary parties on Monday, while on Tuesday he began a series of meetings with them to discuss preparations for the joint meeting.

Pahor believes his call comes at the right time after he first tossed out the idea last year. He said dialogue was especially important when party leaders had opposing views. “In such circumstances, dialogue takes on a special weight and meaning.”

The President believes that the current enlargement political changes have a negative impact on overcoming the health crisis.

As he said, it is essential that party leaders jointly review the strategic guidelines for a post-crisis recovery and agree on strategic topics for Slovenia’s EU presidency.

According to the press release, Pahor had not consulted with any party leader before sending the invitation, as alleged by the opposition Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ) in its response.

Meanwhile, DeSUS leader Karl Erjavec thanked Pahor for the invitation. He also briefed the President on a no-confidence vote against the government that will be proposed in the coming weeks.

Erjavec thinks it would be better to hold the meeting scheduled after the vote, with which Pahor agreed.

The Pahor press office announced that both positions are legitimate, stressing however that “the refusal of dialogue in principle can lead to exclusion, which does not seem to favor anyone.”

However, Pahor will strive for the meeting to contribute to Slovenian politics to reach a greater degree of consensus on key challenges.

He believes this should lead to a more tolerant and inclusive public atmosphere, which he considers important between a health crisis and its consequences.

Prime Minister Janez Janša sees Pahor’s invitation as targeted and neutral, while Pahor has already met with National Opposition Party (SNS) leader Zmago Jelinčič.

The New Slovenia Coalition (NSi) also welcomed the initiative, with leader Matej Toni saying all parties should strive for a common approach to the epidemic, the country’s exit strategy and tolerance. The only way to achieve these goals is through dialogue.

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