Ljubljana – Defence Minister Matej Tonin described the ministerial team of his Christian democratic party as the most efficient part of the current government as New Slovenia (NSi) held a campaign convention in Ljubljana on Wednesday. He said Slovenia deserved a good government, but there could not be such a government without the NSi.
During the campaign ahead of Sunday’s parliamentary election, the NSi proved it was close to people, something that Tonin said reassured him in his conviction the party would be the surprise of this election.
In this election the key would be the battle for the third spot because it would decide “the colour” of the next ruling coalition. That was why an all out effort should be made for the NSi to make the podium, because it would be a guarantee “for Slovenia’s bright future”.
Tonin said the prospect of a good showing in the election was the reason for the NSi coming under attack from all sides. As an example he offered the developments prompting Jože Podgoršek’s resignation as agriculture minister following questions arising over his settlement of a hotel bill.
Podgoršek did not take part in the convention but Tonin said he acknowledged his mistake and accepted responsibility. “Every party must do what it talks about,” he said.
However, Tonin said there was no denying Podgoršek’s achievements as minister. He also listed the achievements of the other three NSi ministers in terms of infrastructure projects, care homes and digitalisation. “You let a good horse pull the cart on,” he said in arguing why people should vote for the NSi.
In his view Sunday’s election will be the second most important in Slovenia’s history because it would decide whether the country should go back or forward in development.
The voters would choose between two blocs: on the one hand, the left forces gathered around Robert Golob as the leader of the Freedom Movement, who Tonin said were betting on revanchism, higher taxes and lower wages, and the NSi as the pillar of the centre-right government which guaranteed a strong economy.
“The NSi is a pillar of this government, this government knows how and can deliver,” he said.
In a video address the NSi was endorsed by Manfred Weber, the leader of the European People’s Party in the European Parliament. He too highlighted the government’s achievements in the briefs held by the NSi. He said the NSi offered voters predictability that they would get what the party promised.
The NSi emerged as the sixth strongest faction in the 2018 election, winning 7.16% of the vote. It is currently projected to win 7.6-7.8% of the vote.