The Slovenia Times

Party of Miro Cerar to Strike Out PM's Name


By changing the name to the Party of Modern Centre, the SMC wishes to show that it is a modern party that focuses on the future and respects the modern trends in society.

The new name also reflects the party's central position in the political arena and the party's respect for different values and ideologies, Cerar has told the press.

The party, whose acronym will remain unchanged, announced a name change already when it was founded on 2 June 2014 because the founders had decided to use the name of Miro Cerar, an acclaimed legal expert, only to set the party apart from others.

A month and a half after its establishment, the SMC won 36 seats in Slovenia's 90-strong National Assembly and Cerar built a government together with the Pensioners' Party (DeSUS) and the Social Democrats (SD). The coalition has 52 seats in parliament.

The SMC now has some 3,200 members and has invested a lot of effort into building a local network since June, establishing 60 local chapters in 117 of Slovenia's 212 municipalities.

Despite its victory at the general election, the SMC failed to get any of its 40 candidates elected mayors in the October 2014 local elections. However, the SMC is the second among all parties as regards the number of local councillors elected.

Last autumn, the SMC joined the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE) in the European Parliament, although the party does not have a single MEP. Its member Violeta Bulc has however been appointed European commissioner for transport.

The party took a beating in some popularity rankings in late 2014, as its support nearly halved and it was pushed from the top by the opposition Democrats (SDS). However, recent polls show that the SMC is back on top of the party rankings, with its support at some 20%.

Nearly 120 delegates have been invited to take part in the congress on Saturday, as well as some 300 party members and guests.

The name change will not be the only item on the congress's agenda. The event will be an opportunity "for those who want to make a change for the better to come together," SMC vice president and parliamentary Speaker Milan Brglez has told the STA.

"The representatives of local chapters, the soul of the SMC, MPs, the driving force of our new politics, and executive body representatives will discuss ways to make Slovenia better and more citizen-friendly," Brglez said.

He believes that the opinions voiced during the debate at the congress will contribute to making Slovenia one of "the top EU member states" once again.


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