Cerar gets second mandate as SMC president
Cerar said after the vote in Maribor that the SMC would remain a unifying party and encourage cooperation in the country.
He is convinced the first step was made today towards making voters aware of the achievements of the SMC, which was no longer among the top 3 parties in recent polls.
"I wish to take you to the general election feeling optimistic, full of energy, armed with our programme and the faith that we've done many good things," Cerar told a crowd of 370.
In his address before the vote, Cerar listed the achievements of the SMC and the government, while arguing their work is not finished, "which is why a second mandate is necessary".
He said that the party had promised in 2014 it would "normalise and stabilise the country, get it running, only to be able to equally distribute the benefits of stable economic progress and social prosperity among the people in the second term".
He called on voters to ask themselves ahead of the June general election whether "they want a future with slightly more boring excellent A-students or whether they want to take a risk with those who would really need to repeat the year as opposed to getting another mandate".
Meanwhile, the SMC also confirmed today its work plan for the coming four years, which includes 172 measures, all of which completely realistic, according to the head of party's platform committee Aleksander Kešeljević.
The SMC's future vision of Slovenia is of a fair, digital, green, healthy and safe country where everyone is better off.
While the programme was backed practically unanimously, some critical voices could be heard in relation to challenges in education, healthcare and long-term care.
Cerar's term at the helm of the party would have ran out before the June general election, but while he could have continued running the party as acting president, he decided to examine his support before the start of the election campaign.
The congress was also attended by a few high-profile guests, including by the leader of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) Guy Verhofstadt, EU Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc, and Angelika Mlinar, a member of the Slovenian ethnic minority in Austria, who is a MEP for ALDE.
Some uninvited guests appeared as well, among them the Syrian refugee Ahmad Shamieh, who is facing deportation even though he is seen as a model example of successful integration.
He brought with him the Turkish family that also failed to get asylum and the activist group Task Force for Asylum, which wished to highlight human rights violations they say are occurring under the SMC's Interior Minister Vesna Györkös Žnidar.
The minister notably did not attend today's congress, while the embattled Health Minister Milojka Kolar Celarc was also absent.