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Lawmakers set to back Slovenia's first minority cabinet

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By Marja Novak

LJUBLJANA (Reuters) – Parliament was expected to confirm Prime Minister Marjan Sarec’s centre-left coalition as Slovenia’s first minority government on Thursday, following an inconclusive general election.

Sarec, a former provincial mayor, comedian and actor, became prime minister-designate last month after the centre-right Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS) failed to forge a coalition despite winning most votes in June’s election.

“We have proved that we can talk … now it is time to start working… and deliver results,” Sarec, 40, told parliament ahead of the vote.

The new government would be “a guarantee for a stable economic environment that is kind to investment”. He added improving the national health system and cutting red tape would be priorities.

His List of Marjan Sarec (LMS) party is in coalition with four other centre-left parties: the Social Democrats, the Party of the Modern Centre, the Party of Alenka Bratusek and the pensioners’ party Desus.

They account for 43 of parliament’s 90 seats. The opposition Left party, which has nine seats, has pledged to support the minority government on key policies.

Outgoing premier Miro Cerar will be foreign minister, replacing Karl Erjavec who becomes defence minister. Economist Andrej Bertoncelj takes the finance portfolio.

Analysts say the minority government might struggle to stay in power for a full four-year term.

Otilia Dhand, senior vice president of US advisory firm Teneo Intelligence, said the coalition parities had disparate priorities so there was a high risk the coalition could collapse and spark early elections.

(Reporting By Marja Novak; Editing by Jon Boyle)

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