STA, 2 May - Parties that are to participate in the upcoming general election campaign have indicated they will rely mostly on social networks and direct contact with voters. Some have announced substantial campaign spending, while some will try to make do without any noteworthy funds whatsoever.
The parties, many of them established only recently, will officially start campaigning on 4 May and will have until 2 June to convince voters.
Judging by the first announcements, social networks and direct contact and less so the traditional approaches, such as media ads, posters and gatherings, will be the focus of most parties.
The direct contact will be sought in different ways. The SocDems will for instance organise a cycling tour around the country, while the List of Marjan Šarec will visit towns by bus.
The Democrats (SDS) have introduced a consultation system via questionnaires sent to some households, and are also using prizes as an incentive for cooperation.
Another key platform will be traditional televised debates, which are mostly best used by established parties and the non-parliamentary parties that polls indicate have a good chance of success.
There are various opportunities for funding. While companies are not allowed to provide campaign funds, individuals can make contributions that do not exceed ten times the amount of the average gross wage.
The smaller and new parties will mostly depend on donations, while established parties can use funds from their regular party accounts. They can also take out loans, but most parties have no such plans.
The amount that can be spent by a party is limited to EUR 0.40 per voter in a given constituency. Thus, those who will field candidates in all 88 districts can spend slightly over EUR 680,000.
However, the first data indicates no party will come even close to this amount. Among the parties that have revealed their plans, the senior coalition Modern Centre Party (SMC) stands out with EUR 250,000.
The junior coalition Pensioners' Party (DeSUS) has earmarked EUR 160,000, while a similar sum has also been announced by the junior coalition SocDems and the opposition New Slovenia (NSi).
The remaining parliamentary parties have not yet disclosed the sum, although the opposition Left said it expects the figure to stay within five-digits.
Minimal campaign spending has on the other hand been announced by most of the non-parliamentary and new parties, including by one of the main favourites, the list of Kamnik Mayor Marjan Šarec.
An exception is the People's Party (SLS), a party with a long tradition but without an MP since 2014. It has earmarked EUR 150,000 for the campaign.