Left to present platform, candidates for general election

Maribor – The opposition Left will hold a congress in Maribor on Saturday to discuss the platform for the 24 April general election, whose key points include measures to address the price and climate crisis, and to ensure collective social security. The party will also present the list of candidates for the elections.

The congress, which will be held in a hybrid form, is expected to be attended by more than 300 members, according to party leader Luka Mesec.

It will be addressed by philosopher Slavoj Žižek and Mesec and feature a public presentation of the platform, after which Left members will discuss it behind closed doors and expectedly confirm it within a week in a correspondence session.

Mesec noted five key areas that will be addressed – responding to the price crisis, solving housing issues and facilitating construction of non-profit public housing, tackling the climate crisis, collective social security, and economic democracy.

Also to be presented at the congress are the candidates for the general election, but no specific names have been revealed. All current MPs, with the exception of Violeta Tomič, who left the party in January, are expected to be on the list.

Mesec has announced that “some known faces” will be on the list, and that the party is contesting the elections in the “best shape so far”, as membership has increased by 30% in the last four years.

He has noted that today’s congress will provide answers to the question why Slovenia needs a party like the Left, which he sees as a “safeguard against authoritarianism, a guarantor of free, open and democratic society, and a social corrective”.

The party won nine MP seats in the previous election in 2018 and currently has seven MPs after Franc Trček and Željko Cigler defected for the Social Democrats (SD). It is entering the election campaign as part of the informal KUL coalition.

While the parties of this coalition could not find a way to cooperate as part of the short-lived Marjan Šarec government, Mesec claims it is different that this time as the parties have cooperated within the opposition in the last two years.

He dismissed the assessment that the party is moving towards the centre as it is cooperating with liberal and centre-left parties, saying that he believes the Left has always served as a “counterweight on the left”.

“If we did not exist, we would be worried about the pace being dictated by the right, like it does in some other countries,” Mesec said.

The party has discussed possible cooperation with Robert Golob, the head of the Freedom Movement party, which is doing very well in the latest opinion polls. Mesec sees Golob as a “natural ally”, in particular in the field of climate policy.