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Slovenia anti-migrant party leader nominated as PM

By AFP - Feb 26,2020 - Last updated at Feb 26,2020

President of Slovenia Borut Pahor (right) and Janez Jansa, president of the Slovenian Democratic Party, hold a joint press conference after their meeting in Ljubljana, Slovenia, on Wednesday (AFP photo)

LJUBLJANA — The leader of an anti-migrant party was nominated on Wednesday as prime minister of Slovenia, setting him on track for a return to high office after a nearly seven-year absence.

“I hope our collaboration will be constructive and for the benefit of our state and our people,” President Borut Pahor said after nominating Janez Jansa for premier.

Parliament has yet to confirm Jansa as the premier, which is expected to happen next week.

Jansa’s Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS) Party announced on Tuesday that it had agreed with three other parties to form a coalition government.

The previous centre-left government fell in January when then premier Marjan Sarec stepped down amid infighting in his minority five-party coalition.

A long-time leader of the anti-migrant SDS and ally of Hungarian nationalist Prime Minister Viktor Orban, Jansa, 61, led two previous governments before being forced to step down in 2013 over a corruption scandal.

He was given a two-year jail sentence for a bribery conviction, which was later overturned by the constitutional court.

It ordered a retrial which could not take place as too much time had elapsed.

Jansa is known for his crowd-pleasing rhetoric and combative presence on Twitter, where he attacks opponents and established media alike, echoing the tactics of right-wing populists abroad.

The proposed coalition will see the SDS partnering up with centre-right Nova Slovenija  and outgoing junior coalition parties Modern Centre Party and pensioners party DESUS, giving them a total of 48 out of the 90 seats in parliament.

SDS won the most votes in the last election in 2018, but Jansa failed to win over sufficient allies at that time, paving the way for political newcomer Sarec, a 42-year-old former comedian, to become Slovenia’s youngest-ever prime minister.

 

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