The Slovenia Times

Cerar's Party Renamed


He said the party's values were the respect for human dignity and for human rights, tolerance and securing equality. "Being modern also means respecting the rule of law," said PM Cerar.

In outlining the name change, Cerar said the party was ideologically balanced in terms of values and action, which however does not mean they got stuck. On the contrary, they are oriented towards development, trying to implement their values.

He added that the party was trying "to strike a balance between liberal, social and other values and goals", wanting to take into account the needs of both individuals and the society as a whole.

The SMC sees history as a teacher or a lesson for the future, but does not bring up those ideological issues which belong to the past, Cerar stressed at the congress.

The name change was endorsed without debate. Indeed, Cerar reminded the delegates that the original name was chosen at a turbulent time when the country was gearing up for an early election, serving to give the party an identity.

In his address to the congress, he highlighted his party's fight for "a different political and legal culture", for which reason he believes the SMC has been a target of criticism since the establishment.

"Those who have been caught with their hands deep in a cookie jar are pointing their finger at us saying we have afforded a glass of water or tea without paying for it. This is manipulation."

Looking back at the time when the party was founded, Cerar said "this was actually an unbelievable project". He labelled the establishment of the party and the election victory a month later "a little miracle", created by all those citizens who believed in "our story".

Cerar also took stock of what he considers achievements: the elections of SMC city councillors and the formation of the government, which adopted two "difficult" supplementary budgets and largely consolidated public finances.

The government has moreover had to face some of the toughest tasks such as taking measures related to the bad bank "after there was no headway for two years and the [audit] report showed anomalies".

He also stressed that despite reservations, including in the coalition, they decided to continue privatisation. "This is our legal and political commitment," Cerar told the congress.

Since being established on 2 June last year, the SMC won the 13 July general election in a landslide. While failing to get a single mayor in the October local elections, it emerged the second strongest party in terms of city councillors. The party currently has around 3,200 members.

Being set up after the May elections to the European Parliament, the party has no MEP, but has joined the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE) group at the European level. Its member Violeta Bulc is however Slovenia's European commissioner, in charge of transport.


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