COVID-19 forces delay of no-confidence vote in Slovenia government

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Slovenia’s leftist opposition decided on Tuesday to drop temporarily a no-confidence motion against the centre-right government as some deputies would not be able to participate in the vote because of COVID-19 infections.

The leader of the Pensioners’ Party DESUS, Karl Erjavec, who had been proposed as the candidate to take over from Prime Minister Janez Jansa if the opposition motion had succeeded, withdrew his candidacy, the national STA news agency reported.

The vote had been due to take place on Wednesday after DESUS gathered the required 42 signatures among deputies, but an outbreak of COVID-19 infections among some lawmakers and subsequent self-isolation measures forced the delay.

The opposition, comprising five parties, would need 46 votes in the 90-member chamber to succeed in toppling the government.

DESUS had counted on support from some deputies from the centre-left Party of Modern Centre (SMC) which is part of the ruling coalition and has eight parliamentary seats.

Until recently DESUS was also part of the ruling coalition, but it quit saying it was unhappy with the government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, its jeopardising of media freedom and siding with Hungary and Poland in disputes in the European Union over democratic standards in those countries.

Slovenia’s parliamentary speaker, Igor Zorcic, said the opposition must now gather the signatures again to be able to introduce a new no-confidence motion.

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