The Slovenia Times

The United Left Dethrones Janša



SD leader Borut Pahor's first reaction was reserved. He labelled the party's showing as an "excellent result", however, he said that it will be necessary to wait for the final results. The SD had formed an informal coalition with Zares and the LibDems (LDS), which got 9.40% and 5.19% respectively. This gives the trio 43 seats in the 90-seat legislature, three votes short of an outright majority. The fate of the next government looks set to be determined by one of the three other small parties. Commentators suggest the most likely partner is the Pensioners' Party (DeSUS), which looks set to win seven seats with 7.44% of the vote. DeSUS leader Karl Erjavec has already said the party would demand higher pensions if it was to join a coalition.

The narrow gap

Yet Janša has not conceded electoral defeat yet, saying that the gap is too narrow and the balance could still change by the diaspora vote. He acknowledged the left stood a better chance of forming a coalition since the junior coalition partner, the New Slovenia (NSi) looks to have missed the 4% threshold for parliament. The NSi has benefited the most in the past from votes from abroad, although its officials have rejected the possibility that this could alter the vote and NSi president Andrej Bajuk has already offered his resignation. The only other parties that did make it to parliament are the National Party (SNS) with 5.46% and the joint list of the coalition People's Party (SLS) and non-parliamentary Youth Party (SMS) with 5.24%. They are set to win five seats apiece. The remaining eleven lists failed to win more than 2% and will not make parliament. Turnout was expected to play an important role, with analysts speculating that anything above 65% would disproportionately benefit left-leaning parties. In the end it stood at 62.16%, 1.5 percentage points more than in 2004.

They commented...

Pahor struck a moderate note in his first statements after the release of exit polls. "We have succeeded with a moderate policy, which is a good prospect for government - if we are entrusted with it," he said after the close of polls. Asked about possible coalitions, Pahor told POP TV that this matter would first be discussed with the centre-left Zares and Liberal Democrats (LDS).

Janša suggested in his reaction to the outcome that there had been an incredible mobilisation on the ideological basis on part of the transition left, including through the engagement of transition capital through its media. He pointed out that Slovenia's capital city, Ljubljana, saw the biggest turnout and the strongest support for SD. The current education minister Milan Zver has said the general election has brought no losers but just winners. The result of the SDS, which is hovering around 30% according to unofficial results coming in from the National Electoral commission, are not a defeat for the SDS, said Zver: "Unfortunately we have fallen short and Pahor has taken a deserved victory." He added that he did not expect SDS to be invited to the coalition formed by the SocDems, which he believes will not have trouble forming a coalition. He also said that this will mean that "we're returning to the old times of distinct radical divisions between the left and right".

President Danilo Tuerk said in a statement for POP TV that the elections "showed yet again that Slovenian voters are critical and give their choice a sober consideration".

Waiting for the hammer to fall

Before publishing the official results, the National Electoral Commission will tally up the mail-in votes. It will also wait for votes from abroad until 29 September. Once official results are published the parliament will convene the maiden session. This will happen no later than 11 October. The president of the republic will then launch consultations on a prime minister-designate with all the parties in parliament. The prime minister-designate is nominated by the president and put to a vote in parliament, where he needs to win an absolute majority of 46 votes.


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