Slovenia’s Populist Leader Survives Second Ouster Bid


Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa survived a second opposition-led impeachment vote this year over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic and attacks against the media.

Jansa has faced protests against his minority-backed government over alleged corruption and moves to consolidate power in the Balkan state, which will take over the European Union’s rotating presidency in July.

Accusing Jansa of violating the constitution for foregoing an opportunity to order vaccines made by Pfizer Inc.-BionTech SE and Moderna Inc in favor of cheaper shots from AstraZeneca PLC, opposition parties failed to muster the necessary votes to oust him. The prime minister denies wrongdoing.

Addressing lawmakers on Wednesday, Jansa said the constitutional impeachment motion included so many “absurd things” that there was no sense in addressing them.

After a stumbling start to the vaccination campaign, the nation is still behind many of its EU peers in inoculations, with only 16.6% of the population fully immunized.

The impeachment attempt also accused Jansa of attacking the judiciary and the media. His government has halted financing to the STA press agency despite a law approved last year that requires the government to do so. STA, which hasn’t received funds for 146 days, is partly relying on donations to keep operating.

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