Slovenian parliament confirms center-right cabinet of PM Jansa

LJUBLJANA (Reuters) – Slovenia’s parliament confirmed late on Friday the 16-member cabinet of the center-right Prime Minister Janez Jansa, who has pledged to do everything to slow the spread of the coronavirus epidemic in the country.

The cabinet was confirmed by 52 votes to 31, parliamentary speaker Igor Zorcic said.

Slovenia has reported 141 confirmed coronavirus cases, up from 96 on Thursday, and has closed all schools and introduced health checks at its border with Italy.

“We are fighting against time … and we need to win this battle. … The change in our living habits in the coming days and weeks is necessary in this case,” Jansa told parliament on Friday, before the vote.

Jansa was confirmed by parliament earlier this month and will replace the outgoing center-left Prime Minister Marjan Sarec, who resigned in January saying he did not have sufficient support in parliament to pass important legislation.

Jansa, 61, is the leader of the largest parliamentary party, the Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS), and pledges to cut red tape and build more fences on the border with Croatia to reduce the inflow of illegal migrants.

He led the Slovenian government from 2004 to 2008 and from 2012 to 2013, and is close to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

The four parties of his government coalition together hold 48 out of 90 seats in parliament. One of the main tasks of the government will be to hold the rotating presidency of the European Union in the second half of 2021. The next parliamentary election is due in mid-2022.

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