Ljubljana – Agriculture Minister Jože Podgoršek announced on Tuesday that he would run in the general election in the spring on the slate of the coalition New Slovenia (NSi), saying that the party provided political stability. NSi president Matej Tonin said the NSi was open to experts and people who want to implement its platform.
Podgoršek had already cooperated with the NSi in the past, serving as a municipal councillor in Vodice, and participating in the party’s campaign for the 2018 general election by drafting parts of its election programme, Tonin said.
The NSi president added that in his current term, Podgoršek had made the effort to implement the NSi programme, which showed in the adoption of legislation that “supported small, medium-sized and large farms, and especially family farms.”
Tonin noted that there were parts of NSi’s programme in the 2023-2027 strategy for the implementation of the common agricultural policy. “This is where we have found some common ground and we are very happy about that.”
The minister said that he was well aware of the priorities and guidelines of the conservative Christian democratic party, which he said he implemented in his personal life, so the decision to cooperate with the NSi was an easy one.
Podgoršek added that the Agriculture Ministry had implemented “a large part of the coalition priorities in the field of agriculture that the NSi included in the current coalition agreement”.
The minister, who was appointed in October 2020 from the quota of the Pensioners’ Party (DeSUS), said he was convinced that he was joining a party that provides great political stability in Slovenia.
He added that the party’s commitment to continue to work for rural and agricultural development was one of the key reasons for his decision to run on the NSi slate.
The slate will include all other current ministers – Defence Minister Tonin, Infrastructure Minister Jernej Vrtovec, Labour Minister Janez Cigler Kralj, and Digital Transformation Minister Mark Boris Andrijanič, who is not a member of the NSi.
Tonin said that the example of Andrijanič proved that the NSi was not about membership, but above all the competences of the individual and whether that individual was willing to implement the party’s programme.
“The door of the NSi is open to experts who don’t want Slovenia to turn back to the past, but to be directed towards the future,” he added.