Slovenian PM Janez Jansa survives confidence vote

The Slovenian centre-right government of Prime Minister Janez Jansa survived a no-confidence vote late Monday as 40 deputies in the 90-seat parliament, six short of a majority, supported the motion submitted by the leftist opposition.

Five opposition parties submitted the no-confidence motion last week saying the government was inefficient in fighting the COVID-19 epidemic and being undemocratic, including by jeopardising media freedom. The regular general election in Slovenia is due next year.

The opposition DESUS lawmakers also stated that the motion was necessary to "put Slovenia back on the right track" and move closer to the "core" values of the European Union.

It was the second attempt to oust the prime minister in a matter of weeks after a similar motion was withdrawn in January due to the absence of elected representatives. Several MPs were forced into quarantine after testing positive for the coronavirus, compromising the opposition's chances of securing the 46 votes they had needed.

The latest motion against the government was tabled last week by five centre-left opposition parties, with Erjavec nominated as a candidate for head of government.

Jansa dismissed the opposition's accusations during Monday's debate, calling the motion a "destructive farce" and a "waste of taxpayers' time and money".

"Our government has done much more than the previous one, in much less time, under more difficult epidemic conditions," Jansa stated.

After governing Slovenia twice in the 2000s, Jansa returned to power in early March to lead a new coalition after the previous five-party government collapsed in January 2020 over internal disputes.

His government had previously lost a parliamentary majority when the DESUS party decided to leave in December.

The prime minister has frequently attacked the country's media on Twitter, and opponents also have expressed concerns over ties to populist Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban.

Slovenia has recorded more than 3,650 deaths since the start of the pandemic, with around 176 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants, although cases have fallen in recent days.

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