Janez Janša’s government survived a no-confidence motion after only 40 deputies, six short, voted in favor in a secret ballot Monday. There were seven votes against and six invalid ballots, while most of the coalition MPs abstained.
The motion was submitted by five center-left opposition parties that nominated Pensioners’ Party (DeSUS) leader Karl Erjavec as prime minister.
Speaking after the vote, Erjavec said it was a little over a year to go until the next general election and that is when voters would decide if this government had done a good job. “If not before, the time of truth will come when the next general election is held.”
He stressed that people were unhappy with the coronavirus restrictions and the failure of cabinet members to adhere to the rules they themselves had set.
While the vote was secret and it is impossible to know how individual MPs voted, the voting results would suggest that only one DeSUS MP supported the motion, reflecting a long rift between the party leadership and its group of deputies.
Erjavec said DeSUS would stay in opposition and he would now work on consolidating the party. He indicated that if any DeSUS MP decides to join the coalition by signing a separate co-operation agreement, they will remain MPs only for as long as their current term lasts.
Janša went on Twitter to comment that the National Assembly had finally completed the count, deciding that not all members of the Constitutional Arc Coalition (KUL) were in favor of the motion.
Partners in his coalition stressed that now was the time to continue working as they spent energy unnecessarily on this move.
Modern Center Party (SMC) leader Zdravko Počivalšek wrote on Twitter: “Now at least we can try to join forces for the serious challenges ahead. “Let us overcome any difficult feelings and lay the groundwork for another policy.”
New Slovenia (NSi) leader Matej Tonin said the result made it clear the government was strong. “Our work is aimed at curbing the spread of the epidemic, ensuring accessible health care for all and strengthening the economy.”