Winner of Slovenian Elections to Get First Go at Forming Cabinet

(Bloomberg) -- Slovenia’s president will give Janez Jansa the first chance to form a government following inconclusive elections, although the nationalist former prime minister said he may surrender the mandate if his opponents assemble a workable coalition.

The victory of Jansa’s Slovenian Democratic Party in Sunday’s ballot creates a dilemma for the former Yugoslav republic after most other parties denounced his anti-immigrant campaign and rejected joining him in power. The standoff has set the stage for prolonged political turbulence like that seen in Slovenia’s fellow euro-area neighbor Italy. The ballot runner-up, former comedian Marjan Sarec, has said he wants to create a cabinet of his own.

“I will talk to all political parties once I am given the mandate to see if we can form a coalition for Slovenia,” Jansa said Thursday after meeting President Borut Pahor in the capital, Ljubljana.

Without most of the record nine political parties that made it into parliament on his side, Jansa’s prospects of forming a government are slim. If he succeeds, he may upset the middle-of-the-road politics the country of 2 million has followed since joining the European Union in 2004. He would find allies among anti-refugee, euroskeptic parties in neighboring states Italy and Austria, as well as Hungary, where Jansa’s ally, Premier Viktor Orban, is on a collision course with the EU over the rule of law and backsliding on democracy.

Sarec, who shot to fame in a failed presidential bid last year, has said he wants to create a coalition commanding a majority in the 90-member parliament. But he would need to lure a large group of partners from the motley group of parties, each with diverging goals and personalities.

“There is a possibility of early elections if there is no agreement on a new prime minister by the end of the summer," Mauro Giorgio Marrano, a senior economist at UniCredit in Vienna said in a report Wednesday. "And also if a coalition is formed involving a large number of parties, as this may lead to friction.”

The new political leaders should try to deal with the failed sale of Nova Ljubljanska Banka d.d. even before agreeing ona new government, outgoing Finance Minister Mateja Vranicar Erman said Wednesday. She called for political accord on what to do next with the country’s biggest bank to avoid penalties by the European Commission.

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