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Slovenia: Parliament debates no-confidence motion against Jan Jana’s government

Slovenian lawmakers held a session Monday to vote on a no-confidence motion against the Janez Janša administration. Several opposition parties accused Janša of mismanaging the coronavirus crisis, depriving him of freedom of speech and other misconduct in governing Slovenian society.

In particular, they accused Janša of using the coronavirus pandemic to turn the country into an “authoritarian democracy”

The opposition approved Karl Erjavec as the new (possible) nominee for Prime Minister, leader of the Pensioners’ Party (DESUS), who left the ruling coalition shortly before launching a no-confidence motion. DESUS participated in the government with a few ministers leaving their positions.

The first attempt for a parliamentary vote fell quickly as some MPs came out positive for coronavirus and thus were unable to be present at the session. However, they were essential for the opposition to succeed in its goal of ousting Jancha.

“You are here to choose between an authoritarian democracy and a normal, constitutional and democratic Slovenia,” Karl Erjavec, leader of the opposition DESUS party, told lawmakers at the start of the debate.

Jança responded that the opposition is wasting taxpayers’ time and money, adding that it is not good to debate the move in the midst of a public health crisis. During the debate, few members of the ruling coalition asked how Erjavec came to be the candidate for the next prime minister even though he had won less than 400 votes in his constituency.

In order to succeed, the opposition must gather 46 deputies on its side, a rather big challenge. Opposition leaders have previously said they could rely on the votes of Slovenia’s Small National Party and minority representatives.

As the vote is secret, the opposition hopes that some of the deputies in the ruling coalition will change their minds and support their idea.

A vote on the motion is expected late Monday.

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