The Slovenia Times

Janković (Re)takes Ljubljana


Mojca Kucler Dolinar, the joint candidate of the coalition New Slovenia (NSi) and Democrats (SDS), picked up 25.8% of the vote.

Janković said he was "pleasantly surprised" to have won over 60% despite the low turnout, adding that this was the third election in a year and a half that he and his party won. "It is unbelievable," he said.

Janković will pick up his term after a three-month intermission. He had to leave City Hall after he was elected MP on the slate of his Positive Slovenia due to a law that bans MPs from serving as mayors.

He will return to the same environment he was in when he was first elected mayor in 2006: with Democrat (SDS) leader Janez Janša as prime minister.

The period between 2006 and 2008 was marked by tense relations between state and capital, but Janković does not believe the government will do what it did in 2006, when it cut funding for the capital.

The relations "cannot be worse than they had been," he said. "If we want to emerge from this crisis as winners, we must work hand-in-hand."

Nor does Janković think it problematic that he will lead the biggest party in parliament from City Hall. "This is actually a plus, not a minus."

Kucler Dolinar said the result showed a significant share of people in Ljubljana wanted a "normalization of the situation and more democratic leadership".

The support is a commitment for future work in the city council. "All these initiatives and encouragement we heard today will get a voice in city council," she said.

Kucler Dolinar also hopes Janković will be open to dialogue with the government, as "this is the way to do something for Ljubljana".

There were a total of eight candidates on the ballot. Miha Jazbinšek, councilman for the Greens, won 6.5% and Vito Rožej of Zares 4.1% and all other candidates were near or below 1%.

Turnout stood at 45.4%.

Five other municipalities held run-offs after already holding the first round of voting on 11 March.

In Slovenj Gradec, Andrej Čas narrowly won (51.6%) the battle of independents against Ksandi Javornik.

In Krško People's Party (SLS) candidate Miran Stanko, who ran with the backing of his predecessor Franc Bogovič, grabbed 65% of the vote.

Independents Siniša Germovšek and Mitja Horvat won in Bovec and Duplek, respectively, while Democrat (SDS) candidate Vladimir Vindiš won in Destrnik.


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