Changes to Govt Act First Step to New Government
The National Assembly passed in on Tuesday amendments to the government act, determining the structure of the new government cabinet. The Positive Slovenia (PS)-sponsored motion was backed in a 48-26 vote by the PS, SocDems, Citizens' List (DL) and the Pensioners' Party (DeSUS).
The Democrats (SDS) voted against the motion, while New Slovenia (NSi) and the People's Party (SLS) abstained.
Under the new government act, the prosecution service, transferred from justice to home affairs under the Janez Janša government, will be returned to the Justice Ministry.
The public administration portfolio will be shifted from justice to home affairs, and renamed to interior and public administration.
The Culture Ministry, which had been merged with education, will once again be independent.
Symbolically, the Labour, Family and Social Affairs Ministry will be renamed Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities Ministry.
The initial proposal involved folding the Office for Slovenians Abroad into the Culture Ministry and no longer having a minister without portfolio in charge, but the motion was scrapped following protests from diaspora organisations.
This was welcomed today by the Slovenian minority organisations and parties in Italy and Austria. They argued that apart from the financial aid the minorities also needed political and moral support and that having a minister responsible for minority issues meant a lot to them.
Another provision creates the post of state secretary for dialogue with the civil society at the prime minister's office.
The Centre for Information Service, Cooperation and Development of NGOs labelled this "an important and very welcome step" towards reviving the policy of cooperation between the government and the NGOs.
The prospective members of the new coalition are currently conducting talks on the forming of the government behind closed doors. Unofficially, the deal is that the PS will get five ministries, the SD and DL three each and DeSUS two.
Talks continued today on individual areas of work for the new government, including finance and health, although the negotiators were tight-lipped about the details.