The Slovenia Times

Analysts attribute Šarec's success to his persona


"Our goal is to achieve results and work," Šarec told reporters, adding that polls meant nothing without actual results. The PM, who has overtaken President Borut Pahor as the most popular politician, said there was hard work ahead and plenty of projects to be implemented.

Only time will tell if the government is successful, and "speaking about popularity and success after three or four months is much too early," added Šarec, whose government was sworn in in September.

Meanwhile, analyst Korljan, the editor-in-chief of the Primorske Novice newspaper, told the STA that the prime minister was gaining in popularity due to his persona and demystification of government work.

Korljan said the government, whose work was perceived as successful by 56% of the 700 respondents in the poll carried out by Ninamedia because Šarec speaks about leading the government like about any other business. "People apparently assess this positively and the prime minister is gaining in popularity based on what we call 'common sense'," he said.

Similarly, Čakš, the editor-in-chief of the conservative portal Domovina, said that Šarec succeeded with the help of media "to create an image of a decisive and capable leader, who's not landed in the office from some professorial or another intellectual position, instead, he appears as one of [the people]".

"This is why his seemingly simplified ... speak, which is frowned upon by intellectuals, is actually liked by people. In this sense, Šarec has a certain political talent, which undoubtedly stems from his vocation. He slightly resembles the popular former US President Ronald Reagan, who was also an actor and had a strong sense of how to gain popularity with people."

Nevertheless, the image of Šarec's capabilities and decisiveness was largely facilitated by the media or rather by "the absence of a deeper media critique in the first months of the government's work".

In part this is due to favourable global conditions, which also play a major part in people's perception of Šarec due to rising standards of living, and in part it is due to Šarec's likeable moves such as his clear position on fighting hate speech in media.

Korljan also believes the prime minister knows how to work with media: "He's working hard not to turn them against himself."

Like the prime minister, his party, the Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ) is also gaining in popularity, having overtaken the opposition Democrats (SDS) in the first spot in the Vox Populi poll.

Korljan believes that the SDS is in some sort of a leadership and identity crisis, with its leader Janez Janša taking a step back and Anže Logar coming to the forefront as his successor, "at least as far as public appearances are concerned".

On the other hand, Čakš believes that the LMŠ's rise is a delayed aftermath of Šarec's popularity. Nevertheless, more polls will have to be conducted to be able to say anything more definite about the change on the top of party rankings.

As regards Šarec's overtaking President Pahor in popularity rankings, Čakš said that they had a lot more in common than either would be willing to admit.


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