Slovenian lawmakers approve liberal-green leader as new PM

LJUBLJANA, Slovenia (AP) — Slovenia’s parliament on Wednesday voted to appoint the leader of a liberal-green party that won last month’s election as the country’s new prime minister, replacing a right-wing populist.

Lawmakers voted 54-30 for Robert Golob, head of the Freedom Movement party, to take the position. A separate vote is expected in early June to confirm Golob’s new government.

Golob, a former business executive and a newcomer in politics, told parliament earlier Wednesday that tackling problems in healthcare and containing rising energy and food prices will be his priorities.

“A month ago, voters made it clear that they want to live in a normal country, where they won’t be facing constant uncertainty about what the next day will bring,” said Golob, who ran an energy company in the past.

His Freedom Movement won an overwhelming majority of seats at the April 24 vote, defeating the right-wing Prime Minister Janez Jansa and his Slovenian Democratic Party. Golob’s party has formed an alliance with other center-left groups.

Jansa has faced accusations that he turned the small European Union country toward right-wing populism while in office. He has also faced EU scrutiny over allegations of pressure on the media and the takeover of state institutions by loyalists. Jansa has denied the allegations.

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