Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán congratulated his Slovenian nationalist ally Janez Janša after the Slovenian parliament voted 52 to 31 authorizing him to form a new government.
Janša now has two weeks to set up a cabinet that in turn also needs to be approved by parliament.
“Thrice is the Slovenian truth,” Orbán wrote to Janša on his Facebook page, a variation on the saying “Thrice is the Hungarian truth” or third time’s a charm as the English saying goes.
“Good luck, my friend!”, he concluded, posting a picture of a previous meeting of the two sitting alongside one another.
Orbán was referring to the fact Janša has already been prime minister of Slovenia between 2004 and 2008 and later from 2012 to 2013.
Although Janša’s Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS) party won the 2018 election with the largest number of seats (25) in the 90-seat national assembly, he was unable to form a majority government in the fragmented legislature, which currently has nine parties and representation from both the Hungarian and Italian ethnic minorities.
Eventually, the former actor and comedian Marjan Šarec, the leader of the second-placed party with 13 MPs, formed a minority left-wing government, which collapsed last month after the resignation of Finance Minister Andrej Bertoncelj citing “irreconcilable differences” over Šarec’s healthcare reform plans.
Following a month of horse-trading, last Wednesday President Borut Pahor assigned Janša with the task to form a new government.
Title image: Orbán’s congratulatory Facebook post.