Populist Slovenian Prime Minister Loses Environment Party Election

Janša, who had hoped to win a fourth term, admitted he was defeated in the vote, adding, however, that his SDS party received more votes than ever before.

“The results are what they are. Congratulations to the relative winner,” Jansa said, addressing his supporters.

The elections were expected to be tight, but official preliminary data showed the Freedom Movement, a newcomer to the elections, leading with 34.34% of the vote, much more than expected, while the SDF won 23.83% based on 98 .20% of votes counted. bulletins.

This would give the Freedom Movement, which advocated a transition to green energy, an open society and the rule of law, 40 seats in the 90-seat parliament, and the SDS 28 seats.

Turnout in the small Alpine country, which is a member of the European Union and the NATO military alliance, was 68%, according to the Electoral Commission.

Experts say this is much higher than the national average.

“Of course, the biggest winner was the Freedom Movement,” said political scientist Peter Mersche. “Slovenia is again experimenting with new faces, with people we haven’t even heard of before.”

The freedom movement, launched last year, is led by Robert Golob, a former head of a state-owned energy company that has launched clean energy projects.

A coalition is expected to be formed with the left-wing Social Democrats and left-wing parties to form the government, which are currently set to win 12 parliamentary seats together.

Golob, 55, who is believed to have contracted Covid-19, thanked his celebrating supporters for the historic turnout via video call.

“This does not mean that we are unique, it means that people really want change,” he said. “So today people are dancing, but tomorrow will be a new day. Tomorrow we will start working hard to justify the trust.”

Janša, a 63-year-old populist who has clashed with Brussels over media freedom and has been accused by opponents of undermining democratic standards, which he denies, said the new government will face many challenges and he hopes it will rise to the occasion. .

Many people interviewed by Reuters said they wanted change.

“We don’t want these politicians in power anymore,” said Milena, 58, who voted in the capital, Ljubljana. “The last two years have been desperate in every way. We want new faces, we want normalcy and stability.”

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