New Slovenia Party (NSi) Looks for Shared Election Platform on the Right

By , 23 Jan 2018, 15:33 PM Politics
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"We've advocated lower taxes and thus higher salaries, modernisation in healthcare, and bringing criminals to justice.” 

January 23, 2018

Lending credence to speculation about the revival of a coalition which led Slovenia at the crucial moment of independence, the opposition New Slovenia (NSi) has unveiled plans to form a pre-election coalition based on a shared platform, the STA reports January 23, 2018.

The ten-point platform which is to be formally presented on 17 February is meant to bring together as many parties and individuals with a shared political agenda as possible.

It would offer a range of strategic projects on which the stakeholders would find consensus to secure Slovenia's development in the next decade.

The motion is billed as a new DEMOS, an alliance of opposition parties which joined forces to win the first multi-party elections in 1990 and take Slovenia towards independence.

"We're willing to talk with everyone, and we've proved in this term that we have solutions," Matej Tonin, deputy faction leader of the New Slovenia - Christian Democrats (NSi), said on Monday.

"We've advocated lower taxes and thus higher salaries, modernisation in healthcare, and bringing criminals to justice," he said. The NSi is aware that broad cooperation is needed for such projects.

Asked whether the NSi would join forces with Janez Janša's Democratic Party (SDS), he said they were open to everyone as long as cooperation is built on respect.

This appears to indicate the SDS is not such a party. Indeed, the two parties, both of which were part of DEMOS, have not had the easiest of relationships for a while, with the NSi seeing the SDS as destructive and moving too far to the right.

Meanwhile, NSi MEP Lojze Peterle, the independence-era prime minister, told TV Slovenija last evening that no-one should be excluded in advance.

He welcomed a discussion about a new DEMOS. He believes voters would welcome it because the original DEMOS had a strong historical significance.

This would also enable people to have an easier choice in the election, which is expected to be held in May or June.

Dimitrij Rupel, the independence-era foreign minister, also welcomed the idea about a new alliance in principle, but said there could be no new DEMOS without the SDS.

SDS MP Matjaž Tanko has responded to the NSi's initiative by saying on Twitter that while DEMOS had been built on cooperation, the new DEMOS was already being "exclusive".

Two of the parties mentioned as likely to join the NSi's initiative are Good State, which was founded last year by unaffiliated MP Bojan Dobovšek, and the list of Kamnik Mayor Marjan Šarec, the runner-up in last year's presidential election.

Dobovšek said that for each project, people who would lead it should be known first. He noted that situation was now different from the historical moment in which DEMOS had led the country, so one should look ahead and at European trends.

"Our idea is to overcome divisions and state capture, which is the biggest setback to Slovenia's development," said Dobovšek, one of the founding members of PM Miro Cerar's Modern Centre Party (SMC), who defected soon after the 2014 election.

Meanwhile, Kamnik Mayor Šarec told the STA that "there's nothing there" when asked about possible cooperation with the NSi, although he had welcomed the idea of a pre-election coalition based on a common election platform a few days ago.

Asked whether his coalition Social Democrats would join in, Dejan Židan told TV Slovenija that even if the project was meant to exceed ideological differences, "this is a project of right-leaning parties".

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