Slovenia: Miro Cerar wins parliamentary election by landslide; talks to form a broad coalition continue
July 13, 2014
The newly formed Party of Miro Cerar (SMC), led by the lawyer Miro Cerar, won the 13 July parliamentary election by a landslide amid pledges to reconsider the privatization of state assets and to struggle with corruption and graft. Cerar’s party secured 36 seats in the 90-seat national assembly. The Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS) came in second with 21 seats, followed by the Democratic Party of Pensioners of Slovenia (DeSUS) with 10 seats. Another four parties managed to pass the 4% threshold to get into the parliament, including the former prime minister’s party, the Alliance of Alenka Bratusek (ZaAB).
While Cerer is largely expected to be the new prime minister, coalition talks to form a broad majority continue. According to local media, the new government will likely include the SMC, the DeSUS, the Social Democrats, the New Sloveni party and the ZaAB, which would represent a solid majority of 61 seats. On the other hand, the SDS and United Left parties are expected to be in the opposition.
During the electoral campaign, Cerar stated that the ongoing privatization of state assets should be reformulated, thus triggering concerns over the future of some reform measures agreed to by Bratusek’s government and the European Commission. Included are sales of state assets, which are crucial to stabilize the country’s finances. However, Cerar recently declared that the government should retain control of only key strategic companies, “but everything else can go.” In this regard, on 28 July, the outgoing government announced that it will resume the privatization process before the new government takes office—which is expected to happen by mid-September. Moreover, Cerar pledged to cut the government’s budget deficit to 3.0% by 2015, which is in line with European Union requirements.