Golob Moves Closer to Formal Nomination for Slovenia’s PM-Elect

By , 23 May 2022, 17:35 PM Politics
President Pahor and PM Golob President Pahor and PM Golob Twitter

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STA, 23 May 2022 - President Borut Pahor announced he would nominate Robert Golob, the head of the election-winning Freedom Movement party, for prime minister-elect after holding consultations with the deputy groups on Monday. He said he had established during the consultations that Golob undoubtedly enjoyed the necessary support to be elected. 

Pahor congratulated him and wished him good luck in "forming, appointing and leading the government". He expressed hope for "excellent cooperation".

The president noted Golob would be the fifth prime minister and his government the sixth with which he had cooperated in almost ten years in office, and stressed he had the same standards for all. He added he had always let each prime minister set the amount and intensity of their cooperation.

Golob thanked Pahor for his constructive attitude and for understanding their motive for forming the government as soon as possible. The main reason is that the summer could thus be used for preparations for the autumn, which will bring energy price hikes and potentially a new wave of Covid, Golob said.

He pointed out that the Freedom Movement truly wanted to change the political culture and remove hate speech from politics. Respectful dialogue is the main change he announced for this year. "If this means we have to give up a politician, we will," he asserted.

He moreover called for broad cooperation, including with parties in the opposition, and said he would like to have a two-thirds majority, which will be needed to change the election legislation, by autumn.

"I believe that if we build a truly broad programme coalition, we can address the most fundamental issues of the future," said the prime minister-designate.

Cooperation with the opposition will be programme-based, independent from the ruling coalition, which must start its work as soon as possible, he said.

Among the issues which Golob wants to tackle with support of the opposition he mentioned the pension reform and simplifying the government appointment procedure.

Golob said he would talk cooperation with those opposition parties that would prove with their deeds that they are constructive.

Pahor has not commented on the opposition filing over 30 legislative proposals and referendum motions to at least temporarily prevent the announced expansion of the cabinet. He believes that if the proposals were in line with the law, this was a matter of political culture.

The Freedom Movement is expected to present its new deputy head on Wednesday, Golob said, adding that the party's deputy group will remain divided into eight smaller groups of four MPs.

He would like ministerial candidates to be quizzed by parliamentary committees this week. Responding to criticism that the opposition will not have time to prepare for the hearings, he said the candidates had been known for a while.

Commenting on cooperation with the two minority MPs, who are hoping to sign an agreement with the government, Golob said that in the past they had been put in an "unenviable position" of tipping the scales. An agreement on cooperation might be concluded in the autumn, he said, adding though that this was not a government priority.

After the president held consultations with the Social Democrats (SD) and Left, the prospective coalition partners to the Freedom Movement, the heads of the parties' deputy groups said they would endorse Golob as the prime minister-designate.

SD's Jani Prednik said that the voters had clearly said in the 24 April election that they wanted change, including at the top of the government.

Left's Matej T. Vatovec meanwhile noted that the party leadership had been given the mandate to enter a government led by Golob, adding that the Left MPs would endorse him as the National Assembly holds the vote, expectedly on Wednesday.

Also expressing support for Golob were the representatives of the Italian and Hungarian minorities in parliament, Felice Žiža and Ferenc Horvath, respectively.

Žiža said that the MPs had already discussed with Golob the manner of cooperation with the new government and possible individual projects, adding that detail would be sorted out at a meeting next week.

On the other hand, the head of the Democrats (SDS) deputy group Jelka Godec, while noting that the Freedom Movement has support of 53 deputies, said that the SDS would not endorse Golob. The same decision was made by New Slovenia (NSi).

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