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Slovenian govt no-confidence vote withdrawn

At least two MPs tested positive for coronavirus

19 January, 16:24
(ANSA-AFP) - LJUBLJANA, JAN 19 - Slovenia's opposition on Tuesday withdrew a no-confidence motion against the centre-right government, fearing it would not garner the necessary votes after at least two MPs tested positive for coronavirus and had to quarantine. On Friday, five opposition parties filed a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Janez Jansa's government, accusing him of mismanaging the pandemic and using it to strengthen his control over state institutions like his ally, nationalist Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban. Karl Erjavec, leader of the opposition DESUS party, "withdrew his candidature as prime minister until work conditions for MPs return to normal," the parliament's website announced Tuesday.

The session on Wednesday during which the no-confidence vote would have been held was also cancelled. At least two opposition MPs have tested positive for coronavirus and would have been absent if the vote had gone ahead as scheduled, "decreasing the chances for the no-confidence motion to be successful," Erjavec said. Despite DESUS quitting the governing coalition in December, Jansa's alliance can still rely on 47 out of 90 votes in parliament. When filing the motion Friday, the opposition had urged junior coalition partner, the Modern Centre Party (SMC), to join efforts to oust Jansa. Due to the pandemic, Slovenia's parliament has introduced online sessions that enable MPs to cast their votes, but this does not apply to no-confidence votes, which are held in secret. Jansa, in office since March, has mimicked Orban's hardline rhetoric on migration and has accused media outlets of spreading lies for criticising his handling of the pandemic. While the opposition "can't face any fair political battle," Jansa tweeted on Monday, "the mainstream media under their control spread the virus of intolerance, exclusion and division." Slovenia, an Alpine state of two million, has suffered more than 3,100 Covid-19 deaths, among the highest mortality rates per capita in the EU. (ANSA-AFP).

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