Večer analyses political scene with view to general election

Ljubljana – “Elections are increasingly in the air,” the newspaper Večer says on Wednesday, noting that many parties are already launching their election campaigns as they have realised that “people cannot be told everything in the last two weeks before the election”. It wonders who will manage to convince the frustrated voters to go to the polls.

New Slovenia (NSi) leader and Defence Minister Matej Tonin has surprised with a statement that an early election would be acceptable for NSi under certain conditions, while Interior Minister Aleš Hojs of the ruling Democrats (SDS) said even earlier that the SDS was discussing an early election.

The NSi has, taking the SDS as its role model, already put up jumbo posters with its ministers in many Slovenian towns, as it remembers the 2008 election when it failed to make it to parliament and has thus no intention of repeating the mistake.

Večer offers some parallels between 2008 and now, saying the NSi was part of Janša’s first government before the 2008 election and is now part of his third government, which is not very popular.

SDS leader and PM Janez Janša is probably aware of this too, as he has become very active among voters in recent weeks, visiting various regions with senior SDS members to present potential candidates. “One could hear rumours Janša too is interested in an early election but only after Slovenia’s EU presidency, that is only next year.”

Večer says “it is not known what scenario he would choose to descent from power. He is not very likely to step down, but he could peg a vote of confidence to one of the bills, in which case it would be important to him that he is perceived as a victim.”

The centre-left opposition is aware of his intentions, and continues putting pressure on the government, including with yesterday’s announcement of a new motion to dismiss the interior minister.

Večer wonders how long the opposition will manage to keep up the pace despite its recent agreement on post-election cooperation. “The closer the election, the more going solo, both within the informal KUL coalition of centre-left parties and in the Janša government coalition.”

But an early election is certainly not something desired by “those who are fighting for survival”, such as the Pensioners’ Party (DeSUS), the Modern Centre Party (SMC), former DeSUS leader Aleksandra Pivec with her new party and Zoran Stevanović, organiser of recent protests, both of whom are complaining of being ignored by the media.

“One of the basic questions in the coming months will be who, if anyone, manages to politically get on board the angry, dissatisfied, frustrated people who are fed up with the epidemic. Many are now in the streets but the path from there to the polls is not short. On the contrary, these people often remain undecided,” concludes the commentary From the Street to the Polls.