The Slovenia Times

Presidential Campaign to Be Marked by Austerity, Focus on People


Türk will set up his campaign headquarters shortly and the presentation of his pre-election activities and campaign is expected to be held in the coming days.

The incumbent president's campaign will be led by former Education and Sports Minister Slavko Gaber, Türk's office has told the STA.

At the end of June, a day after the date of the presidential election was set, Türk wrote a letter to his supporters, asking them to help in the collecting of signatures in support of his candidacy, which will start on 20 August.

In the letter, which was published on the web site of the WWII Veterans' Association, Türk says the preparations for the election are in full swing and that activities will only be stepped up. His motto for the election is: "We are people because we trust each other, because we are hopeful and - because we are bold".

Türk's candidacy has been backed by the opposition Positive Slovenia (PS), whose president Zoran Janković has already called on all members and supporters of the party to cast their ballots on 11 November and vote for Türk.

Janković believes Türk has been an excellent president.

The team of MEP Milan Zver, who will run with the support of the coalition Democrats (SDS) and New Slovenia (NSi), has also announced a modest campaign in line with the current financial situation in the country. However, the budget has not been finalised yet, the STA has learned.

Zver will foremost strive to get in contact with the citizens and is betting on a mouth-to-mouth, door-to-door campaign.

His election team will be comprised mostly of SDS and NSi staff, but Zver also wants to reach outside party frames and be the candidate of all those who see the independence as the biggest achievement of the Slovenian nation. Accordingly, he expects a wide support of the civil society.

A civil initiative "Uniting for the Future" was formed some time ago in support of his bid. The initiators of this are candidate for the 2002 presidential election Barbara Brezigar and former parliamentary Speaker France Cukjati. More than 6,500 people have already submitted their signature in support of Zver on the group's web site.

Another candidate who would like to get closer to people during the campaign is former SocDem president Borut Pahor. His motto will be to encourage people to focus on things that unite them while also respecting the differences.

Pahor's campaign will be based on direct and personal contact with the people and organised in a way that will minimize the costs, his team has said. Accordingly, no television advertisements are planned at the moment.

His team mainly includes members of his party, the SD, while the campaign will be led by his long-time colleague Nataša Kovač. The technical aspects of the campaign will be entrusted to agency Studio37, while the team will be advised by former director of the Government Information Office Alja Brglez.

The SD, which supports Pahor's candidacy, will not provide any funds for the campaign, but will help in collecting donations.

The coalition Citizens' List (DL) has not decided yet which candidate to support and is expected to make a decision at the session of the party's council scheduled for early September, while the coalition Pensioners' Party (DeSUS) will wait until candidacies are officially filed.

DeSUS secretary general Ljubo Germič said a decision would probably be made by the party's executive committee in September. The party will however not provide financial support to any of the candidates.

Meanwhile, the coalition People's Party (SLS) does not plan to back any of the candidates but will decide whether it will put forward its own candidate or not after the summer recess.

The presidential elections will be held on 11 November, while all election procedures will commence on 20 August, when candidates will be able to start collecting signatures of support and formally file their candidacies.

Apart form Türk, Zver and Pahor, six other less known candidates have announced their bids so far.


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