Center-left government takes over from populists in Slovenia

LJUBLJANA, Slovenia (AP) — Slovenia’s parliament on Wednesday formally voted into office a new, center-left government, replacing a right-wing one that had pushed the moderate European Union nation toward populism.

Lawmakers voted 53-28 for the Cabinet of Robert Golob, head of the liberal-green Freedom Movement party and a former business executive who only recently entered politics.

Golob’s Freedom Movement won April 24 elections in Slovenia, defeating the right-wing Prime Minister Janez Jansa and his Slovenian Democratic Party. Golob has formed an alliance with two left-leaning parties.

The new government is a combination of experienced politicians and experts, Golob told parliament earlier on Wednesday.

“I’m pleased we have such a good team and I look forward to the weeks, months, years and terms in office ahead, as I know this team will deliver good results,” he said.

Golob has said the government would promote social equality, green energy transformation and reform. Slovenia’s citizens will be proud of their new government, he promised.

“I think you can already feel it in the last few weeks that the mood is more relaxed, that tensions have eased,” he added.

Golob was referring to political tensions under previous PM Jansa, who has faced accusations of fostering divisions and curbing democratic freedoms. A close ally of Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban, Jansa has denied the allegations.

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