Slovenian Parties Sign Accord to Form Minority Coalition Cabinet

(Bloomberg) -- Slovenia is set to overcome a political deadlock following June elections as Prime Minister Marjan Sarec signed a coalition agreement with five parties to rule for four years in a minority cabinet.

The disparate alliance includes the party of Sarec, a former comedian, and the parties of former Prime Ministers Miro Cerar and Alenka Bratusek, as well as the Social Democrats and DeSUS, which represents pensioners. They pledged to boost economic growth, “uphold the rule of law and ensure a stable and predictable business environment,” according to the 47-page accord signed in Ljubljana, the capital, on Wednesday.

The coalition has 43 lawmakers in the 90-member parliament, which is scheduled to vote on the new cabinet on Sept. 13, according to STA news service. Slovenia’s Left party has vowed to support the new cabinet without joining it.

With the EU witnessing a wave of victories by anti-immigrant and euroskeptic parties from Italy to Poland, Sarec’s coalition marks a rare case where a fractured array of centrist forces beat back a populist challenger. The four other parties joining his cabinet rejected working with Janez Jansa, who won the elections on a staunchly anti-refugee platform in the former Yugoslav republic of 2 million people.

Sarec’s LMS party will control the ministries of finance, interior, public administration and health, while former Premier Cerar will be named foreign minister, according to the agreement. Sarec may name as Finance Minister Andrej Bertoncelj, management board member of state investment fund Slovenian Sovereign Holding, according to Delo newspaper.

One of the new cabinet’s first tasks will be the appointment of a new central bank governor, who sits on the European Central Bank’s Governing Council, after its former chief, Bostjan Jazbec, left the post. The five parties in the coalition have also agreed to sell Slovenia’s largest bank, Nova Ljubljanska Banka, after the previous cabinet missed a deadline imposed as part of a 2013 financial-sector bailout.

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