The Slovenia Times

Local Elections: Show of Wannabes, Local "Sheriffs", Defendants, Future and Former Prisoners...



Incumbents are likely to dominate mayoral elections again with re-election bids announced by the current mayors in all four major cities, including Zoran Janković in Ljubljana.

Running on an independent ticket following the fiasco of his Positive Slovenia (PS) party in the general election, Janković will face off several challengers in his attempt to win a third four-year term.

After winning two in a landslide plus a by-election following his ill-fated foray into national politics, Janković is likely in for a tougher job this time, also because of criminal proceedings running against him.

But Janković will not have a rival that would be directly fielded by any of the three biggest right-leaning parties - the Democrats (SDS), New Slovenia (NSi) and the People's Party (SLS).

Coming closest to representing the centre-right camp will be Damjan Damjanovič. Although a member of the (SDS), the director of the Slovenian Philharmonics, who has earned media popularity as a judge of Slovenia's Got Talent and X Factor shows, is running as an independent.

A serious challenge was expected from the recent winner of the general election, the Miro Cerar Party (SMC), but it is not clear what the chances of the largely unknown lawyer Aleš Avbreht are.

Numbering 12 contenders, the list in Ljubljana also includes experienced candidates, such as the long-standing city councillor Miha Jazbinšek of the Green Coalition and the head of the National Party (SNS) Zmago Jelinčič.

An interesting development has occurred in the second largest city, Maribor, which will see a comeback attempt by Kangler after his resignation amid massive protests in late 2012 sparked off by the erection of speed traps under a public-private partnership deal, now subject to criminal investigation.

He was sentenced to seven months in prison in May 2013 for allegedly intervening for a fortune teller to get a city flat, but the Supreme Court quashed the ruling this summer, ordering a retrial.

Kangler, who won the 2006 and 2010 elections, was succeeded in a by-election in March 2013 by Andrej Fištravec, a sociologist who was one of the leading faces in the Maribor protest movement.

Fištravec is standing for another term and his main challengers along with Kangler will include former deputy mayor Tomaž Kancler of the Democrats (SDS) and Anton Kranjc, former director of the Maribor hospital, standing for the SMC. A total of 17 candidates will be vying for the post in Maribor.

Moreover standing out are the elections in the port city of Koper, where incumbent Boris Popovič will be standing for a fourth consecutive term even though he has been handed in a sentence that is not yet final three years in prison over abuse of office in the sale of municipal land.

Elections will for the first time be held in Ankaran, the newly established municipality that used to be part of Koper.

The vote in Ankaran, which has been the subject of a dispute between a group of MPs and the Constitutional Court, will likely be a showdown between one of the main proponents of Ankaran's independence Gregor Strmčnik and the contentious former boss of the Luka Koper port Gašpar Gašpar Mišič.

Meanwhile, Slovenia's third biggest city, Celje, is likely to see a fifth mayoral term of Bojan Šrot of the People's Party (SLS), while things could get close for incumbent Kranj Mayor Mohor Bogataj, who has come under attack for allegedly not even living in the Kranj municipality.


More from Nekategorizirano