Protesters give out medals to govt officials for “fight against democracy”

Ljubljana – The anti-government protesters who gathered in Republic Square on Friday believe government officials deserve medals “for fight against democracy and the rule of law”. They said Police Commissioner Anton Olaj deserves bronze, Interior Minister Aleš Hojs silver and Prime Minister Janez Janša gold.

The protesting People’s Assembly said in a press release that Slovenia was not in the forefront only in the Olympics but also in the destroying of democracy. It believes Janša is using the Olympics for his self-promotion and election campaign.

To illustrate the situation in the country, the protesters decided to give out medals to government officials. Olaj was given the bronze medal for launching proceedings against former parliamentary Speaker Pavel Gantar, journalist Blaž Zgaga and others.

Addressing the rally, Gantar expressed his support to the protesters, which have been rallying for 95 Fridays. “You are proving that the civil society in Slovenia is not a dead body that can be tossed around by anybody and walked over,” he said.

He said that those in power were trying to turn the parliament into a “caricature”. He stressed media needed to be protected and urged protesters to turn out in the 24 April general election.

The protesters gave the silver medal to Hojs, arguing that a parliamentary inquiry had confirmed suspicions of political interfering in police work, destruction of the National bureau of Investigation, and political staffing.

The gold medal went to Janša as “the main architect of political manipulation, attacks on the media, violations of the constitution, interfering with the division of powers, intimidation of critics and ruthless political staffing”.

Political patries running in the April election will on Monday present their views on the 138 demands of the Voice of the People initiative, the organisers of the rally said. This is to help voters decide on who they will vote for in the election, they added.