Slovenia's European election results form opinion ahead of upcoming national elections
In Slovenia, the political scene has had to overcome several hurdles as a result of last month's elections to the European parliament. As in many other European countries, voters in Slovenia gave strong support to opposition parties. Now, only three months ahead of the Slovenian parliamentary elections, it is more than obvious that the actions and debates of political parties are still motivated by the spirit of the pre-election period.
The first person to react to the results of EU elections was the then foreign minister Dimitrij Rupel, who at that time, was still a member of the ruling party of liberal democrats LDS. He started to flirt with the opposition and participated in the so called "meeting for the republic", which was organized by the opposition. Slovenia's Prime Minister, Anton Rop, reacted promptly and the experienced diplomat Ivo Vajgl succeeded Dimitrij Rupel.
Even more is happening on the political scene in Slovenia, as the Speaker of parliament Borut Pahor stepped down from his post following his election to the European parliament. Borut Pahor is also president of Slovenia's biggest coalition party, the United List of Social Democrats. With a large majority of 84 votes out of 90, members of parliament have elected his successor and member of the same party, Feri Horvat:
"Frankly I must say that I did not expect that many votes of support and this additionally means great responsibility and obligation to perform my duty scrupulously and to constitute the new parliament after this year's elections."
But things got complicated with the election of the deputy speaker of parliament. Slovenia's main opposition party the SDS proposed former foreign minister Dimitrij Rupel for the post, who after being relieved of his duty, became member of the SDS. But he did not receive enough votes and therefore was not elected. His comment:
"I regret that people, who are in high positions and who govern this country in such a resentful way are that revengeful. I think the ruling party should not be revenging."
Janez Jansa the president of the SDS party, which welcomed Dimitrj Rupel with open arms after being relieved from duty, also expressed his regrets:
"This is a sad event for Slovenia's political scene. We have a ruling party, which does not respect the legal order, is arrogant and revenging. This is not good for the citizens. We too have had our considerations regarding Feri Horvat, but nevertheless we voted for him, the liberal party however was not able to vote for its former member, who is also one of the creators of Slovenia's independence. This is sad"
Tone Anderlic of the ruling LDS, on the other hand, does not consider the reaction of his party as an act of revenge, he blames the opposition for being revengeful and arrogant, by proposing the former minister for the post of deputy speaker of parliament.
"You will not witness such a case in any other European parliament that someone, who just switched over to the opposition be proposed for such a responsible function."
Mr. Anderlic says that the opposition is to blame that the deputy speaker of parliament has not yet been elected.
"Quite a number of opposition members of parliament were missing at the division. If they had had a serious intent to elect him, then all members of the oppositional parties would have attended the meeting."
Despite heated political discussions Slovenia has a new foreign minister, a new speaker of parliament but not yet a deputy to this post. But there is one thing we can be sure of: this summer will be remembered as a season of pre-election campaigns and the political promotion of Slovenia's parties.