5-Party Connecting Slovenia Alliance Forms to Contest April Election

By , 02 Feb 2022, 16:52 PM Politics
5-Party Connecting Slovenia Alliance Forms to Contest April Election Facebook

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STA, 2 February 2022 - Five parties signed an agreement in Ljubljana on Wednesday to jointly contest the 24 April election with the Connecting Slovenia (Povežimo Slovenijo) list, with the main points of the joint programme revolving around principles that promote the benefits for the economy, people and the environment. 

The alliance comprises the coalition party Concretely, which was recently created with the merger of the Modern Centre Party (SMC) and Economically Active Party (GAS), and the non-parliamentary People's Party (SLS), Slovenian Greens, New People's Party (NLS) and New Social Democrats.

The agreement says that the presidents of the five parties will define the key steps of the election campaign in consensus and assist each other in all campaign activities.

Also to be taken in consensus are decisions regarding the formation of a joint parliamentary group and cooperation with potential allies after the elections. The agreement is valid until the end of the next term of the National Assembly.

SLS president Marjan Podobnik said the goal was to create a Slovenia that people voted for in the independence referendum, adding that the alliance would reach out to everybody and "no one will be left on their own."

The president of Concretely and Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek said that the alliance was connected with the shared vision of what Slovenia's future should be like. "There are differences between us," but these can be overcome, he said.

"If we want to place Slovenia on top of the rankings of the most successful countries, we must show that we are serious about the new political formation," Počivalšek said, adding that the alliance promoted responsible social and economic development.

Slovenian Greens president Andrej Čuš said that in the last 30 years, environmental policy had not had the right people who could talk to each other about finding joint solutions, unlike in some EU member states that had progressive democracies.

Čuš said that the groundwater, water, air and living environment was being poisoned every day, and that the situation was the same in the National Assembly, adding that Connecting Slovenia would advocate for environmental issues.

NLS president and Interior Ministry State Secretary Franc Kangler said that the alliance created an atmosphere of dialogue, integration and unification, and that it would fight for a just and fair Slovenia.

"It is the responsibility of us all ... to create dialogue, to unite and not exclude anyone in the future," Kangler said, adding that Connecting Slovenia would be an important player in the political arena in the next four years.

Andrej Magajna of the New Social Democrats likened today's agreement with the formation of the DEMOS coalition 30 years ago, adding that Connecting Slovenia would focus on creating conditions for a Slovenia as had been imagined by DEMOS.

Alojz Kovšca, the president of the National Council, the upper chamber of parliament, and vice-president of Concretely, complained that politics had turned into a competitive sport where teams win by disqualifying other teams from the race.

The signing was also attended by former Constitutional Court judge and presidential advisor Ernest Petrič, Education Minister Simona Kustec and physician Tina Bregant, a former state secretary at the Health Ministry.

Bregant said that the healthcare system needed to be reformed, and that the alliance advocated "sustainable, modern, efficient and emphatic public health."

Connecting Slovenia will run in the election with a joint list of candidates, on which the slots for individual parties will not be precisely determined, and not all parties will have the same number of candidates. Non-party candidates will also run.

According to the official spokesman Marko Balažic, candidacies by electoral district will be determined based on opinion poll results. "All five parties have decided to jointly endorse those who will be recognised as the best."

Čuš said the five parties were properly distributed geographically, which was "a great relief", and Kangler added that, while there were major discrepancies in the number of candidates from individual parties, "this is not bothersome for anyone."

Today's agreement signature is the first formal conformation of a joint list by parties for the April general election.

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