LJUBLJANA, April 10 (Xinhua) -- Following Prime Minister Miro Cerar's resignation on March 14, Slovenian parliament members have hours until Tuesday midnight to list a candidate for a new prime minister, which however, local media said, seems unlikely.
Independent parliament member Janko Veber, who has offered to take up the position, stated on Tuesday afternoon that he had managed to collect only five signatures of support from other members while he would have needed at least ten for his bid to succeed.
This means that an early election is the most likely scenario, which will however not be held much earlier than a regular general election, according the Slovenian Press Agency STA.
If no candidate is put forward Tuesday midnight, the National Assembly will meet on Wednesday to take note of this development, triggering a 48-hour window during which it could mount the last attempt to find a prime minister-designate.
If there is still no candidate, the National Assembly will meet again on Friday to get acquainted with the fact, after which Slovenian President Borut Pahor will dissolve parliament on Saturday and call an early election.
According to Pahor, who calls general elections, there are two possible days for an early election: May 27 and June 3.
Pahor will decide which date to choose after consulting deputy group leaders to see which bills parliament members would like to have passed before parliament is dissolved.
Cerar resigned late on March 14, hours after a Supreme Court ruling to annul the result of a September referendum that approved the government's biggest investment program, a railway project worth one billion euros (1.23 billion U.S. dollars.)
The blocked 24-km Second Track Divaca-Koper railway project is intended to connect the coastal cities of Koper and Divaca, and extend to Ljubljana as well. Media reports said Cerar has considered the project vital for Slovenia's development.