In the general elections to the Slovenian National Assembly held on Sunday, April 24, the newly formed liberal party Freedom Movement (GS) led by Robert Golob emerged triumphant by ousting the right-wing coalition led by prime minister Janez Jansa. The elections witnessed a high voter turnout of 70.10%. The Freedom Movement secured 41 seats in the 90-seat National Assembly with 34.53% votes, while Jansa’s conservative Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS) managed to win 27 seats with 23.53% votes. The Christian Democrats-New Slovenia (NSi) won eight seats. Levica (Left) managed seven seven and Social Democrats (SD) five seats–losing three and four seats, respectively, from their previous tally. Several parties, including the social-liberal LMS led by former prime minister Marjan Sarec, all parties in the Let’s Connect Slovenia coalition, the right-wing Slovenian National Party (SNS), SAB and DeSUSS failed to pass the minimum threshold of 4% votes and lost all of their seats in the outgoing assembly.
As many as 36 women were elected to the National Assembly, 22 from the Freedom Movement alone. This is a record figure since Slovenia gained independence, representing 40% of all MPs.
According to reports, the Freedom Movement will be able to form a stable government if the Social Democrats and Levica support it. Freedom Movement’s leader Robert Golob has already stated that with the support of the civil society, all the anti-people policies adopted by the outgoing government will be repealed.
The outgoing Jansa government was accused of mounting repeated attacks on activists, cultural workers, NGOs, intellectuals and the media. It faced widespread criticism and massive protests from all walks of civil society, including the working class, professionals, leftists, liberals, and others, for its bid to increase military spending instead of strengthening public health care during the pandemic, diluting environmental regulations, and attacking workers rights.
Following the declaration of the results, Golob stated, “today dreams have come true, not only our dreams but also those of a large part of Slovenia. We believe power in fact is owned by the people and not the parties that have been usurping it for the past 30 years.”
Meanwhile, despite the defeat of his party, outgoing prime minister Jansa went on a tirade against his political opponents by calling the Freedom Movement ‘an anti-European’ and a ‘pro-Russian group’ on Twitter on April 26.
Following the elections, outgoing Levica MP Primoz Siter posted on Facebook,
in the future government constellation, the role of the Left will be key. Maybe the smallest political group, but with the most clear political idea, it has to become a compass that will force bosses from the eternal middle status quo to the left. Kindness is not enough, we need serious action for social security, including for the society and a healthy planet. The middle hasn’t proven itself in this yet, but the Left has.
The Levica leadership also reiterated that they will continue the fight against militarization and authoritarianism and strive forward to defend the rights of the working class.