Slovenia’s opposition files no-confidence motion against Jansa cabinet

Slovenia’s opposition files no-confidence motion against Jansa cabinet
By Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje January 16, 2021

Slovenian opposition parties filed a no-confidence motion on January 15 against the government of the right-wing Prime Minister Janez Jansa with the backing of 42 of the 90 MPs, claiming the government does not enjoy support among citizens.

The initiative came from the Pensioners Party (DeSUS), which decided to leave the four-party ruling coalition on December 17. It was supported by the List of Marjan Sarec (LMS), the Left, Social Democrats (SD) and the Party of Alenka Bratusek (SAB).

One MP from DeSUS did not sign the motion, and the opposition needs four more votes from the governing coalition parties to overthrow the government led by Jansa’s Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS), which also comprises the Modern Centre Party and New Slovenia.

One of the main reasons for the motion was the government's failure to deal with the coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic as well as the violation of fundamental principles of the constitutional order and freedom of the media, DeSUS leader Karl Erjavec said after filing the motion.

The opposition also claims that since it came to power in March 2020 Jansa's government endangered Slovenia's reputation in the EU and the international community.

“The de-normalisation of the country must be stopped," Erjavec, who is the oppositon's candidate for prime minister, said.

"Our partners are countries that have problems with the rule of law, we have moved away from fundamental European principles, Erjavec noted.

He added that the main problem is that the government is failing against the COVID-19 epidemic. "The numbers are clear. As far as the second wave is concerned, we are the worst in the world," he added.

There are also growing concerns about the state of the media in Slovenia under Jansa’s government.

A swift downturn in press and media freedom has been observed in Slovenia since the current government came to power, the International Press Institute (IPI) said in September. Critics say Jansa’s SDS is trying through various means to extend the state’s control over the media. Meanwhile, MEPs told the European Parliament in November that businessmen close to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban have been financing right-wing media in both Slovenia and North Macedonia.

The Slovenian parliament will vote on the no-confidence motion in a secret ballot in the coming week. The next parlimentary session will start on January 20.