Robert Golob, leader of the Freedom Movement (GS). (Picture: via Facebook)
In the general elections to the Slovenian National Assembly held on Sunday April 24, the new liberal Freedom Movement (GS) party led by Robert Golob emerged victorious by toppling the right-wing coalition led by Prime Minister Janez Jansa . The elections saw a high turnout of 70.10%. The Freedom Movement won 41 seats in the 90-seat National Assembly with 34.53% of the vote, while Jansa’s conservative Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS) managed to win 27 seats with 23.53% of the vote . The Christian Democrats-New Slovenia (NSi) won eight seats. Levica (left) won seven seven seats and the Social Democrats (SD) five seats – dropping 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 of the Let’s Connect Slovenia coalition, the right-wing Slovenian National Party (SNS), SAB and DeSUSS failed to cross the minimum threshold of 4% of the votes. and lost all their seats in the outgoing assembly.
No less than 36 women were elected to the National Assembly, 22 from the Freedom Movement alone. This is a record figure since Slovenia’s 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 leader Robert Golob has already said that with the support of civil society, all anti-grassroots policies adopted by the outgoing government will be reversed.
The outgoing Jansa government has been accused of organizing repeated attacks against activists, cultural workers, NGOs, intellectuals and the media. He faced widespread criticism and massive protests from all walks of civil society, including the working class, professionals, leftists, liberals and others, for his offer increasing military spending instead of bolstering public health care during the pandemic, dilution environmental regulations, and tackle workers’ rights.
Following the announcement of the results, Golob said: “Today dreams have come true, not only our dreams but also those of a large part of Slovenia. We believe that power actually belongs to the people and not to the parties that have usurped it for the past 30 years.
Meanwhile, despite his party’s defeat, outgoing Prime Minister Jansa launched a tirade against his political opponents by calling the Freedom Movement “anti-European” and a “pro-Russian group” on Twitter on 26 april.
After the elections, incumbent Levica MP Primoz Siter posted on Facebook, “In the future government constellation, the role of the left will be key. Perhaps the smallest political group, but with the clearest political idea, it must become a compass that will force the bosses of the eternal middle status quo to the left. Kindness is not enough, we need serious action for social security including society and a healthy planet. The middle has not yet proven itself in this area, but the left has.
The leadership of Levica also reiterated that it will continue the fight against militarization and authoritarianism and strive to defend the rights of the working class.