Widespread Condemnation of Janša’s Refusal to Acknowledge Biden’s Victory

By , 09 Nov 2020, 16:42 PM Politics
Widespread Condemnation of Janša’s Refusal to Acknowledge Biden’s Victory Janez Jansa Wikimedia - CC-by-0 01

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STA, 9 November 2020 - Prime Minister Janez Janša has drawn criticism over his tweeting in response to the outcome of the US presidential election even from the ranks of his own coalition partners, while the Foreign Ministry and the country's president would not provide a comment.

"The prime minister's tweets are not benefiting Slovenia at the moment," Defence Minister Matej Tonin said for TV Slovenija last night, adding: "Time will show whether they will harm us."

Tonin, the leader of the Christian democratic coalition party New Slovenia (NSi), said he understood the prime minister might be disappointed about the outcome of the US election, but in democracy results should be accepted as they were, and the winner should be congratulated.

Unlike Janša, Tonin, one of the deputy prime ministers, has congratulated Joe Biden on his election victory, as has Slovenia's President Borut Pahor and National Assembly Speaker Igor Zorčič, among others.

Commenting on Janša's tweets in which he disparaged Biden and favoured Donald Trump as the winner, Zorčič told TV Slovenija: "The communication on Twitter that we've seen - that is rooting for one side, humiliating the other side, blocking advisors - isn't decent or diplomatic and doesn't contribute to the enhancing of relations with the US or any other country."

In endorsing Trump ahead of the election, Janša tweeted that Biden would be "one of the weakest presidents in history" if elected, which earned him a rebuke from Michael Carpenter, Biden's foreign policy advisor. On the morning after the US election day, Janša also tweeted it was "pretty clear that American people have elected Donald Trump".

While he has not congratulated Biden, Janša has since tweeted "The US is our strategic partner. All the @govSlovenia I have led have built close, friendly relations with the US. No matter which party the US president was from. Nothing will change in the future".

Zorčič, a member of the junior coalition Modern Centre Party (SMC), said the SMC understood foreign policy as an activity and an effort to further the interests of the state rather than the promotion of party interests. "I believe we'll need to have a word about that in the coalition."

The Foreign Ministry and the president's office have so far declined to comment on Janša's tweets.

Dnevnik says Janša should be ousted for US election tweets

STA, 9 November 2020 - Dnevnik says in Monday's commentary that PM Janez Janša prematurely declaring Donald Trump as winner and rejecting to acknowledge Joe Bidden as such is shameful and detrimental for Slovenia, all of which is intended only for Janša's political survival in his own country. It adds that the only solution is Janša's ousting.

The newspaper notes that the leaders of 25 EU member states congratulated Biden one our after his win was announced on TV, all but the "original Orban from Budapest and his financial and political dependant from Ljubljana - Janez Janša."

What is more, Janša publicly doubted the "early" congratulations by European politicians and the media, which is "shameful and unlawful international repositioning of Slovenia," it says, adding that Janša's tweeting during the election did not stay unnoticed.

According to Dnevnik, what the prime minister has done could only be remedied in the short run if he soon leaves the post, while in the long run, damage control may require inhumane effort to eventually improve relations with the US.

The paper assumes that the "political suicidal mission", which included declaring Trump as a winner when virtually half of the votes were yet to be counted, exclusively served Janša's political survival in Slovenia.

He did not care that he risked doing irreparable damage to Slovenia while trying to earn Trump's sympathies in advance, counting on rich political concessions in case the incumbent president got re-elected.

"Now when it is clear that he had bet on the wrong 'horse' ... it would make sense for his coalition partners to seriously re-consider continuing the joint political journey on this train of madness."

From the international and foreign policy aspect, it is horrifying for Slovenia that Janša was willing to get into an exchange with the entire foreign policy advisory apparatus of the new US president, with Slovenia's "stock" plummeting in the eyes of the world's largest power.

Dnevnik adds that, in the short-run, the only Solution for Slovenia's position in the EU and globally is that the alternative coalition of left-leaning parties ousted Janša with a constructive vote of no confidence already before the new year.

"What now, mister prime minister? Maybe it is nice to tweet, but one needs to eventually take responsibility for publicly uttered words, especially from such key national (and European) political position. And face all the consequences," concludes the commentary What Now, Mister Prime Minister?

Reporter says Janša's US election stance indecent at least

STA, 9 November 2020 – Reporter, the right-wing weekly, says in its latest commentary that Donald Trump, by not recognising the outcome of the US presidential election, might destabilise the superpower, which is also very bad for Slovenia, whose PM Janez Janša also doubts the legitimacy of the outcome. This is indecent to say the least, the right-leaning weekly adds.

This is the first time in the history of the US that a candidate who is not set to win another term claims that the election has been stolen, says the commentary headlined Story about a Stolen Election.

"This is a dangerous claim, which may even cause bloodshed in what is already overheated and politically and racially divided American society, where a large share of the population is armed."

The tense situation in the US, which is being instigated by Trump, is basis for internal destabilisation of the superpower, and this is very bad for Slovenia, where many people have "unbelievable and irrational aversion towards the US."

Slovenia belongs to the West historically, mentally, culturally and economically, and regardless of who is the US president, Slovenian politics should strive to have good relations with the US, which is the largest trade partner to the EU.

This is why the acts by Slovenian PM Janez Janša, who first declared Trump the winner before the votes were counted, and then doubted the legitimacy of the election outcome, are very detrimental, as "he is only following in Trump's footsteps."

"Such interfering in a democratic process in the largest democracy in the world with more than a 200-year tradition is, to say the least, indecent," Reporter says, adding that the prime minister is making the probable winner almost a persona non grata.

"This is, of course, irrelevant to the US, but may be inconvenient for Slovenia. A friend of mine told me half-jokingly that we will have to buy a lot of American weapons to remedy the damage done," the commentator concludes.

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