Voice of the People initiative starts election campaign

Ljubljana – A network of civil society and non-governmental organisations that is forming the Voice of the People initiative started its election campaign at Friday’s anti-government protest in Ljubljana. It presented ten out of its hundred demands with which it plans to confront political parties ahead of the general election.

The initiative aims to “shape the political agenda for our common future from the bottom up”.

Presenting the demands of the group formed out of Friday’s cycling protests, Jaša Jenull said the Voice of the People would demand answers from parties to questions such as whether the consequences of the “harmful legislation adopted in the past year” would be done away with, whether they will make sure there is no political staffing and what specifically they will do to protect public media.

The Voice of the People demands the option to dismiss parliament, phasing-out of coal by 2030 and a full transition to renewables.

It warned that the minimum wage and pensions should rise and that 30,000 non-profit apartments were needed by 2030. Further demands include fair taxes on capital, more oversight and abolishment of supplementary health insurance.

The initiative believes convicted persons should not be allowed to run for public posts or hold political positions.

Jenull said the initiative would not become a party but would demand that parties answer its questions.

The protest wrapped up with a symbolic lighting of a “light of resistance”, with protesters turning on the lights on their mobile phones in Prešern Square.

Police estimate that about a thousand people gathered, and proceedings have been launched against the organiser over violation of the public assembly act. One violation of the protection of public order act was recorded, the Ljubljana Police Department said.

Gatherings are currently not allowed in Slovenia due to the epidemiological situation. Only organised events are allowed where the organisers makes sure that participants are either vaccinated, reconvalescent or tested and keep a safety distance. Friday’s protests had not been announced.