Friday bicycle protesters host election debate

Ljubljana – A week before election blackout sets in, the Friday protesters associated in the People’s Voice civil group hosted an election debate in Republic Square. People gathered to listen to politicians from ten left-leaning parties, including several party leaders, including Robert Golob, whom polls show to be the main rival to PM Janez Janša.

The Friday protesters have been protesting against the Janez Janša government every week ever since it came to power in mid-March 2020, accusing it of undermining democracy and the rule of law and urging its resignation or replacement.

Today’s debate was announced at last week’s protest, with Jaša Jenull, one of the main protagonists of the Friday protests, saying that all parties had been invited.

The protesters highlighted the key reasons why democracy and the rule of law must be preserved, stressing that the last two weeks ahead of the election were crucial.

Philosopher and sociologist Renata Salecl urged people to go to the polls in the 24 April general election to protect the country from authoritarian rule.

Today, representatives of all ten participating parties – the LMŠ, Left, SD, SAB, Freedom Movement, DeSUS, Vesna, Pirates, Our Future and Good State – had to answer three series of question – one from the NGOs making up People’s Voice, the second were gathered online and the last series came from the public in Republic Square.

All parties said they would remove all fences, if they come to power and do their best for the TEŠ thermal power station to close by 2030.

They were also unanimous to ban doctors employed at public health institutions from also working for private providers, and allow single women in-vitro fertilisation.

They pledged to open an independent investigation into advertising in party-affiliated media outlets, and to exclude an office holder from their ranks if they were offensive to journalists.

Singer-songwriter Jani Kovačič sang the song Not Everyone Is the Same, the lyrics for which have been written by author Andrej Rozman.