The Slovenia Times

Candidates stepping up their game ahead of EU election


More than 40 supporters of the Social Democrats party (SD) and some of its candidates for the upcoming EU election were campaigning along Barjanska Road in Ljubljana on Tuesday, carrying signs which presented the main points of the party's election manifesto.

Along with the list's frontrunner Tanja Fajon, they called for a 35-hour working week, cracking down on tax evasion, equal pay, a sustainable society and a global ban on child labour.

Some of the signs also read It's You Who Decides, with the party urging voters to believe in EU reforms and opt for them.

"On Sunday, there'll be a celebration of democracy, provided our votes defend democracy against fear, hate and greed, said Fajon, calling on voters to participate in the election.

MIlan Zver, the frontrunner of the joint slate of the opposition Democrats (SDS) and non-parliamentary People's Party (SLS), described this campaign as the most intense in the history of EU elections.

Addressing voters in Maribor, Zver said he expected his slate to win again as well as a higher turnout this year as a result of ardent campaigning.

He pointed out that this year's campaign focused more on European issues, such as illegal migration and terrorism, instead of national and local ones as was the case in previous elections to the EU Parliament.

Zver said that the election could also serve as a referendum on national politics, urging the government to improve border protection and take on healthcare and pension reforms.

The senior coalition Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ) has also kept up with other campaigns, with its frontrunner Irena Joveva visiting Maribor today and meeting Mayor Saša Arsenovič.

They discussed possibilities for improving the phasing of EU funds for local projects and the country's eastern region in the future to catch up with the western part.

Another highlight of this year's campaign was Tuesday's debate with a number of female election candidates, held by the Slovenian Women's Lobby.

The participants expressed their support for strengthening gender equality policies by closing the gender pay and pensions gap and providing kindergarten services for all children.

The lobby pointed out that certain parties had been opposing the advancement of gender equality by promoting a return to "traditional family values" and "natural social roles of men and women".

Such parties have thus backed a continuation of discrimination against women, said the lobby.

On the other hand, the lobby welcomed the progress of Slovenian politics in terms of gender equality - the share of women candidates has increased, while six out of 14 slates are topped by female candidates.

It estimated that this year's campaign had mostly relied on TV election debates and parties' social networks and media.

Seven female election candidates took part in the lobby's debate, including Justina Erčelj and Jasna Ružicki (both LMŠ), Urša Zgojznik (the Let's Connect list), Tanja Fajon (SD), Violeta Tomić (The Left), Tereza Novak (the Pensioners' Party or DeSUS), and Angelika Mlinar (the Alenka Bratušek Party or SAB).


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