The Slovenia Times

Novak Re-elected as NSi Party Leader


Novak, who was the only candidate for the presidency of the party for the next two years, called for dialogue, agreement and alliance to adopt the necessary measures to get Slovenia out of the crisis.

She said that neither violence, nor a fresh election or a new government, but only responsible behaviour on the greatest part of Slovenian society could take Slovenia out of the crisis. She called for "responsible" action in all three branches of power.

Novak pledged that her party would play its role as a coalition party with responsibility, commitment and good intentions. She urged the congress to be part of the Slovenian society who "knows that to survive we need to work hard, spend reasonably, rely on own resources first and act responsibly in all situations".

The country needs more than "idle talk" about dialogue; "it needs agreement, respect of agreement and a firm alliance... What has been agreed must be respected and cannot depend on the momentary frame of mind, the desire to please the public or the whims of an individual political player. We have often seen that lately."

Novak believes that it takes a great deal of patriotism to act responsibly and that it will show soon who among the political players is capable of it and who is not. "Only in this way can we preserve financial and political sovereignty, otherwise the reigns will be taken over by others," Novak warned.

Commenting on the wave of protests across the country, Novak said these gave the wrong impression that everything was wrong and that most of the blame lied with the government. But she believes the problems are deeper and are not "from yesterday".

While she expressed her understanding for popular discontent, she condemned violence which she said "some people stimulate, other even pay for so that the rioting would result in victims and thus provide the reasons for unrest and the removal of the government".

She called it a "disgrace for the Slovenian judiciary" that few of those who got rich overnight and hid their wealth in tax havens, or avoid settling their debts, were proven guilty, dispossessed of illegal gains and sentenced.

Novak urged fellow coalition partners not to be taken in by "provocation by the powers whose only goal is to bring down the government and protect their own interests".

The delegates at the congress also a resolution about responsibility in politics, in which they argue that responsible politicians support measures aimed at fiscal consolidation, a stimulating business environment and a more efficient judiciary, regardless of their popularity.

Among these, the resolution cites implementing the fiscal rule of zero budget deficits into the Constitution and kick-starting new infrastructural investments in public-private partnerships.

The resolution also lists proposals for reforms designed to end the political deadlock in the country and measures to improve the efficiency of the judiciary. But the delegates struck out the proposal for the recall of mayors as debate on the matter would continue.

Defence Minister Aleš Hojs explained that the party would strive for justice in law, and that comprehensive reform of the judiciary was necessary. He also advocates a shift to the majority election system, although the change would not benefit the NSi.

Hojs was among the six party members who were elected to the executive council, aside from head of the NSi deputy group Matej Tonin, MP Jožef Horvat and former MPs Mojca Kucler Dolinar, Alojz Soka and Martina Mikolič. The delegates also elected a supervisory committee and an ethics panel.

Novak, who was backed by 259 out of the 265 delegates, will meanwhile select two vice-presidents, secretary general and three members of the executive committee herself. She would not discuss the names yet.

Apart from the delegates, the NSi congress was also attended by 300 party members and supporters, including several public figures, among them Democrat MEP Milan Zver, who was backed by the NSi in his recent presidential bid, as well as MEP Alojz Peterle.

The congress was also attended by guests from abroad, among them Hungarian Ambassador Istvan Szent Ivanyi, while greetings to the congress also came from German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and through a video address by President of the European People's Party Wilfried Martens.

Martens noted the NSi's role in the government's planning of the necessary reforms and measures to take Slovenia out of the crisis, hailing the party's efforts to create the foundations of social economy.

He expressed his belief that the NSi would use its influence in the government and parliament for a dynamic reform process just like 20 years ago when the "ruling Christian Democrats strongly contributed to a speedier process of transition".

MEP Lojze Peterle expressed the wish that the party would promote its concepts and advance its principles that "can contribute to a fairer and more effective management of the economy, and a fresh economic growth".


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