The Slovenia Times

President calls European Parliament election for 9 June

President Nataša Pirc Musar signs a writ for election of Slovenian members to the European Parliament. Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA

President Nataša Pirc Musar has issued a writ for election of Slovenian members of the European Parliament on 9 June. Parties or candidate lists will be able to submit their bids starting from 11 March.

This time Slovenian voters will elect nine MEPs, one more than five years ago. Issuing the writ on 23 February, the president underscored the importance of the election to what is the only directly-elected EU institution.

After the National Electoral Commission recently raised issues concerning staff and funding needed for the election Pirc Musar said it was key the organisation of the election and voting is taken seriously. "We cannot afford unnecessary complications," she said, urging the relevant ministries to help ensure good working conditions.

More than thirty electoral commission secretaries and deputy secretaries from the Ljubljana area resigned earlier this year, while judges threatened that they would not take part in electoral commissions because of the dispute with the government over pay. Unofficially, they have since changed their mind.

The Government Communication Office says talks are ongoing and the Ljubljana Administrative Unit is looking for employees who were not directly involved in the elections so far but would wish to participate now. If needed they will find "solutions, coordinated at government level," to fund the elections.

Pirc Musar called on citizens to cast their vote in the largest possible numbers. She plans to continue to advocate for this in the coming months by hosting talks and visiting schools and other institutions.

She urged voters to get informed about the EU and watch out for fake news campaigns. "Your opinion matters. Take your future into your own hands," she said, calling on the voters to "think about Europe and go to the polls".

She noted Slovenia's progress has in large part been made possible by EU membership. "Our economy is more successful, we take better care of our environment, air and water, and there are more opportunities for pupils and teachers, students, professors, researchers and culture workers."

She believes being part of the EU has helped Slovenia better mitigate the consequences of climate change and provided a more balanced regional development. "Because of EU membership, Slovenia's voice counts more in the world," Pirc Musar said.

Slovenian members of the European Parliament are elected by a system of proportional representation and preferential votes. Votes are cast for lists of candidates, with all of Slovenia constituting one electoral district.

The opposition Democrats (SDS) have already confirmed their list of candidates headed by current MEP Romana Tomc, and the opposition New Slovenia (NSi) has revealed its list will feature prominent party members, including party leader Matej Tonin and MEP Ljudmila Novak.

Other parliamentary parties are still finalising their lists.

The European Parliament elections will take place from 6 to 9 June when some 370 million eligible voters in 27 member states will elect 720 MEPs.


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