Parties with mixed reactions to election date announcement

Ljubljana – After President Borut Pahor announced he would call a general election for 24 April, this triggered varied reactions from political parties all across the political spectrum. Coalition partners largely welcomed this decision, while opposition parties mostly still favour the increasingly unlikely option of a snap election.

The ruling Democrats (SDS) believe that the decision to hold a scheduled election on the earliest possible date is appropriate and in accordance with the law, as was expressed in a statement on Friday by the SDS deputy group leader Daniel Krivec.

When asked about the possibility of a snap election, Krivec said that “we can keep talking about this fairy tale, but I think it’s only a fairy tale”.

On the other hand, the deputy group leader of the opposition Social Democrats (SD) Matjaž Han pointed out that so far, President Pahor only made an announcement that the election will be called at the earliest possible date.

In itself, that does not rule out the possibility of a snap election, said Han, adding that the key to that option still lies in the hands of the coalition and individuals who support the government.

Matej T. Vatovec, the deputy group leader of the opposition Left, also said that an election should be called as soon as possible, still advocating for a snap election as he believes that the current government should have already stepped down.

He argued that every day under the current government means “causing more damage to the country”. “As for the scheduled election date, of course we can all agree that it should be as soon as possible,” added Vatovec.

The opposition Alenka Bratušek party (SAB) expected this decision, said their deputy group leader Maša Kociper, but added that SAB will still be pushing for a snap election as well.

These sentiments were partly echoed by the deputy group leader of the opposition Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ), Brane Golubović, who said that “every day of delaying the election is another day of us heading towards financial and health disaster”.

Golubović said that the date was otherwise acceptable for the LMŠ, but added that the government should still leave the management of the epidemic to experts and epidemiologists.

The coalition New Slovenia (NSi) considered the election date perfectly appropriate, while their president Matej Tonin said that the party was focused on completing ongoing projects, curbing the epidemic and “doing as much as possible for Slovenia in these challenging times”.

The Pensioners Party (DeSUS) also offered its take, as their president Ljubo Jasnič welcomed the decision made by president Pahor to schedule the election on the earliest possible date, and said that this was the only correct decision.

Pahor said that he felt it was appropriate not to delay his decision on the election date, and that the vast majority of deputy group leaders have accepted his decision with understanding.

The law states that scheduled elections are called by the president 135-75 days before four years have passed since the first sitting of the current parliament. The vote must be held between 60 and 90 days after the election is called.