Final Tally Shows No Change. What Happens Next?

So the unofficial results of Slovene elections are in, including the overseas/expat vote and in the end very little changed. NSi, the one party which was hoping for an election miralce, did get a substantial percentage of the vote (16 percent of the overseas/expat vote as opposed to 3.26 of the domestic vote) but it was too little too late, especially since only about a quarter of 40.000 eligible votes were mailed in. The only person who probably loudly laments the expat vote is Silvo Mesojedec of SDS in voting unit 6 (Novo mesto), who lost his seat to Zvonko Lah (also SDS) by a mere 0.09 percent of the vote.

The distribution of seats in the parliament is as follows:

20080930_volitve.jpg
Distribution of seats in the new parliament (source: National Electoral Commission)

The National Electoral Commission will confirm the results on Friday (SDS has already stated that it will not contest the results), which means that the Prez will convene the first session of the parliament within twenty days starting Friday, 3 October.

The first session of the parliament will be presided by the oldest member of the parliament, probably Vasja Klavora of DeSUS. During this session the parilament will confirm the mandates of all ninety MPs and elect its leadership: the president and three vice-presidents, one of which will be chosen from the ranks of opposition MPs. They also form standing committees and divide membership in these committees according to a party’s standing the new coalition (one notable exception being the commitee on intelligience agencies which is headed by a member of the oppostion). The pick for the post of the President of the Parliament (technically the second most important position in the country) will also answer the question of what kind of government can we expect. Specifically, whether all coalition party leaders will hold ministerial posts or whether their influence will be dispersed over various institutions.

More on the above some time in the next twenty days, but suffice it to say that it would be prudent that the post of the President of Parliament should go to one of the junior coalition parties. With this the focal point of coalition decision making would shift towards the parliament (both in terms of division of powers as well as geographically), which would be a welcome improvement, since both the PM and the president of parliament were members of SDS, a fact that vastly contributed to having a rubber-stamp parliament most of the time during the last four years (unless DeSUS was in its rebelious mood and SNS wasn’t on the same page).

In any case: Within thirty days of the initial session of the parliament, the President of the Republic holds consultations with leaders of parliamentary groups (including minorities) and decides on his candidate for the PM. The Prez proposes this person (usually leader of the victorious party, or anyone else of whom he is given assurance that can secure an absolute majority of forty-six votes) to the parliament, which holds a secret ballot. The candidate is empowered with the mandate to form a government if he or she wins an absolute majority (46+ votes total).

This is not the end, however.

Within fifteen days the candidate for MP must propose his cabinet, with all the ministers appearing before hearing committees where they outline their policies for the next four years. Hearing committees will hold a non-binding vote on the candidate and all of the candidates for ministerial posts will then be voted on en masse by the parliament in a plenary session. They too must win an absolute majority of votes, creating a curious situation where ministers are firstly reponsible to the parliament for their actions rather then to the PM and it is the parliament which can recall them, not the PM.

On the other hand, things can go wrong (not that I expect them to). If the Candidate for PM fails to form a functioning government – possibly because he couldn’t get an agreement on who will get which department of the government, or couldn’t win the nomination to begin with, the Prez can nominate another person to the post (or repeat the nomination, depending on the circumstances) within a fourth-night. However, at this point the plot thickens since any ten MPs can propose their own candidate, regardless of his/her ability to form a functioning government. But as I said, things will probably go more or less smoothly and Borut Pahor should become the next Prime Minister no later than the end of November.

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pengovsky

Agent provocateur and an occasional scribe.

12 thoughts on “Final Tally Shows No Change. What Happens Next?”

  1. Seems like a very long-winded process. Potentially it means that Slovenia might be without a PM for more than two months, which seems a bit odd to an outsider.

  2. “SDS has already stated that it will not contest the results”
    Data show that SDS is in case of re-voting the party that can get a new mandatory most difficult. There current mandatory range is 27,88 (-0,12 to whole number), Zares 8,93 (-0,07), LDS 4,96 (-0,04), SLS+SMS 4,97 (-0,03), SD 29,02 (+0,02), Desus 7,10 (+,10) and SNS 5,15 (+,15).
    So SDS have people who can calculate and analyze data!
    How many votes were needed for 1 mandatory?
    SNS 11.366, Desus 11.193, SD 11.043, SDS 10.990, SLS+SMS 10.961, LDS 10.954 and Zares 10.947.

  3. I’m not sure who Zvonko Lah is, but I guess he can’t be much worse than Silvo Mesojedec, who I’m happy didn’t make it.

  4. @Adriaan: Actually no, because the current PM and his government are fully empowered to perform their duties and their term ends only when the new government is sworn in. Convention dictates that JanΕ‘a and his Cabinet act in a caretakes capacity only, but – truth be told – there isn’t much convention to go on, since there were only two cases of a PM being voted out of office (Andrej Bajuk in 2000 and Tone Rop in 2004).

    @Davor: Just to make things clear – by “mandatory” you actually mean “term” or “seat” as in “a seat in the parliament”?

    Yes, it dawned on SDS that the margin they need is greater than the number of potentially contestible votes. But (once for a change) there is nothing wrong with that πŸ™‚

    @Cornelius: Care to enlighten us? :mrgreen:

  5. Well, he’s a local politician, and I don’t know about the local level, but the couple of times Mesojedec showed up on national level news, he was always leading an angry peasant mob with scythes and torches hunting down this bunch of Roma or other. And yes, I realise the locals are probably really fed up with unpunished Roma crimes, but a man who organises a lynch mob as a solution is not the kind of man I’d like to see in the national assembly.

  6. Got him. This is from his website: He entered the political arena in 2000 when he was elected as a member od local council. The Roma issues and his attempts at solving them made him a local brand.

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