August 8, 2018 / 11:32 AM / 4 months ago

Slovenia's center-left coalition nominates Marjan Sarec for PM

LJUBLJANA (Reuters) - Slovenia’s five center-left parties nominated Marjan Sarec, a comedian turned politician, to become prime minister and form a government following an inconclusive June 3 general election.

FILE PHOTO: Marjan Sarec, leader of The List of Marjan Sarec speaks during an interview with Reuters, March 6, 2018. REUTERS/Srdjan Zivulovic/File Photo

The nomination is expected to end Slovenia’s longest political stalemate since an election.

The anti-immigrant Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS) of former Prime Minister Janez Jansa, the strongest single party in the parliament with 25 seats, could not find a coalition partner to form the government.

Under Slovenian law, lawmakers may nominate candidates for prime minister if the president fails to name a candidate because no party holds a majority in parliament [nL5N1UJ2A5].

The parliament is due to vote on Sarec’s nomination on Aug. 17. He would need support of an absolute majority — at least 46 out of 90 parliamentary members — to be elected.

Sarec is a former actor and comedian whose second term as mayor of Kamnik in northern Slovenia expired this year.

His LMS party has agreed a minority coalition with the Social Democrats, the Party of Modern Centre, the Party of ex-Prime Minister Alenka Bratusek SAB and pensioners’ party Desus.

The coalition also expects to get the backing of the Left party, though it earlier said it would not participate in the government.

The five parties together hold 43 seats, and with the Left’s nine seats they expect to secure a slim majority in the parliament. If confirmed, Sarec will have 15 days to nominate his cabinet.

One of the first tasks of the new government would be to start the sale of Slovenia’s largest bank, state-owned Nova Ljubljanska Banka. Slovenia has committed to sell a 75 percent stake in NLB in exchange for European Commission approval of state aid to the bank in 2013.

Reporting by Maja Zuvela in Sarajevo, editing by Larry King

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