What really happened on election day will be a topic of debate for numerous analysts. But one thing is clear, Slovenia has a chance to form a government outside the traditional ideological “left-right” framework which has in many cases been an obstacle to the development of the country.
The victory of Zoran Janković and his “Positive Slovenija” is certainly a huge surprise considering the whole campaign and particularly the election forecasts which clearly predicted a victory for SDS. Even up until the last day of the campaign all major media forecasted a smooth victory for Janez Janša and his strong right coalition – mainly because no one expected Janša to make a radical mistake in the finish of the campaign. His attack on main political competitors came back as a devastating boomerang as he was not able to explain his own real estate operations, which were at the core of his attack on Zoran Janković. It´s clear that the people punished his ambiguity, just as they punished Gregor Virant for his weak and indecisive explanation of his 12 month-long period of receiving wage compensation. But in the end Virant somehow managed to pull out a decent result.
Forming a new government can sometimes be painful; sometimes surprisingly smooth and quick. The hope is always for the second scenario, and if the political parties prove sincere in their pre-election promises it should be possible. The concept of the new government should be some kind of “programme-based” non-ideological coalition with clear and measurable goals which consider the current macroeconomic situation. Short term stabilisation of the state budget, key structural reforms, more efficiency and less bureaucracy in public sector are the meeting point of all major candidates for the new coalition with Zoran Janković, SD (Social democratic Party), SLS (People´s party) and the Citizens list of Gregor Virant. A coalition with the Democratic Pensioners Party could be too risky considering their pension programme but nothing is excluded.
Of course there are few important differences between the possible partners. The main issues could be taxes and the privatisation of state owned companies. We can also expect that some smaller parties will try to raise the price of entering the coalition. But due to the economic situation in the Slovenia and the whole Europe – and big expectations from citizens who are tired of ideological and personal conflict in Slovenian politics – we can hope that the new government will be able to make important strategic decisions for the future of the country. The same goes for the main loser of the elections, the Slovenian Democratic Party. They have a new opportunity to show that they are capable of learning from their mistakes and that they can put the welfare of the people in front of the success of their party.
08 Jun 2012
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