The Slovenia Times

Židan Sole Candidate for SocDem President



A draft list of candidates for party posts was endorsed by the SD presidency on Thursday. It includes Defence Minister Janko Veber and MEP Tanja Fajon as candidates for vice-presidents.

Addressing reporters, Židan said he had accepted the offer to stand because of great support from the grass roots and because of his belief that social democracy was on the path of reform.

"Social democracy is developing to be prepared to assume power in this country as the most powerful party on the left," said Židan, who serves as agriculture minister.

Židan took over as SD leader after Igor Lukšič resigned in the wake of the party's poor showing in the 25 May EU elections in which it secured only one of Slovenia's eight seats in the European Parliament.

The party went on to come fourth in the 13 July snap general election with 5.98% of the vote to secure six seats in the 90-strong assembly, just 0.01 percentage point ahead of the newcomer United Left (ZL).

The SD came second in the October mayoral elections, securing 20 mayoral posts, and third in elections to local councils with 9.95% of the vote.

Židan attributed the local election result to the fact that the party had more time to prepare, while saying that they planned to improve their showing still.

To do that, the party would focus more on its network and youth membership, boost cooperation with akin parties in the EU, continue backing development of state-owned companies and worker rights.

The remaining of the total of seven registered candidates did not consent to the bids. They unofficially included SD-vice president Fajon, former president Lukšič, former MP Majda Potrata and former MEP Mojca Kleva Kekuš.

Židan said that the candidates for the male vice-president were Veber and Velenje Mayor Bojan Kontič, with Fajon, Kleva Kekuš and Mariana Rebernik bidding for the post of female vice-president.

Uroš Jauševec will not be bidding for re-election as secretary general.

The list of candidates will be endorsed at the presidency's session on 18 December, while candidacies can also be submitted at the congress.

The party today called for the recognition of Palestine as an independent country, urging the government to immediately launch procedures for this "courageous step that will contribute to peace and coexistence in the Middle East".


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