What Mladina & Demokracija Are Saying This Week: Opposition’s Options vs Manipulated Referendum?

By , 18 Jul 2021, 14:57 PM Politics

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The covers and editorials from leading weeklies of the Left and Right for the work-week ending Friday, 16 July 2021. All our stories about coronavirus and Slovenia are here

Mladina: Opposition's options

STA, 16 July 2021 - The left-wing magazine Mladina speculates about the odds for the centre-left opposition to get Pensioners' Party (DeSUS) MPs to change their minds and support a vote of no confidence against the Janez Janša government, saying their only chance is to offer a candidate for new prime minister that DeSUS MPs will not be able to reject.

Under the headline What Can Opposition Really Do, the paper writes that the new DeSUS leader Ljubo Jasnič does not appear to be capable of pulling the party's three MPs who have individual arrangements with Janša from the ruling coalition, even though this would be the only chance for DeSUS not to be squeezed out of parliament in the next election.

"Where the opposition has got the idea that the three MPs could change their minds? Why would Jurša, Hršak and Simonovič do that now," the paper writes, wondering whether the result of the waters act referendum, where 90% of people in their electoral districts sent out the message that they no longer support their actions, is enough to change the MPs' minds.

"It is not possible to infer from all that at the moment that the three MPs could soon change their minds and support a vote of no confidence in Janša and the appointment of a new prime minister before the election.

"Only one option appears to be realistic: that the opposition offers a candidate for prime minister that they will simply not be able to reject. Such a candidate is not an opposition party leader or a new Karl Erjavec. The opposition will have to come up with a candidate [DeSUS MPs] will not be able to reject because they would thus reject the country's political stabilisation.

"They will simply not dare say no to that because after the referendum outcome they are no doubt aware of their responsibility and the voters' plebiscitarian opinion. The vote was too unanimous for the MPs not to be aware of."

Demokracija: Referendum result due to manipulation

STA, 15 July 2021 - The right-wing magazine Demokracija blames the outcome of Sunday's waters act referendum on "manipulation" supported by "mainstream media" as well as abstinence by right-leaning voters, writing in the latest editorial that the vote should serve as a "reminder to good people".

The commentary, headlined Body and Mind Thieves, says that the voters, who massively voted against the new law, were manipulated into believing the law was about clean water, when it was in fact aimed at securing much more financial funds for flood safety.

"The manipulation with the help of mainstream media (including the state RTV Slovenija and STA), who openly sided with the referendum proponents, succeeded. Even the obvious abstinence of the right-leaning voters has contributed to it.

"Let this referendum be a reminder to all good people unless Slovenians want to end up in socialism (again) next year. There was no shortage of the deadly ideology's cliches in the referendum campaign; what causes concern is that younger generations follow it so blindly."

The weekly goes on to say that the biggest mistake now would be for the government to dramatise the result of the referendum, which it does not think can be used to judge on the voter sentiment on the ruling coalition and does not mean a defeat of conservatism.

"People will show which ideology they favour more and which will be in rule in the parliamentary election, which as it now appears will be held next year," the paper writes, adding there is no reason for the government to resign over the referendum result.

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