Slovenia: Serious(ly) about politics, a new political party

This week has seen a, to my view, a major political happening on the Slovenian scene. The former strongman of the Liberal Democrats (LDS), the evermighty, omnipresent Gregor Golobic, who quit as Secretary General of LDS 4 years ago to go into business, is back. Not at the top of something already in existence. No, he was elected as president of the new political party “Zares – nova politika”, which in English would read “Seriously – new politics”. How new it really can be and why now?

Golobic is not a new face, neither is he inexperienced nor politically “clean”. He comes back at a time when the current government is losing support and seemingly heading towards a defeat at the next parliamentary elections. By distancing himself from the new LDS, he appeals to those that are disappointed by known politics and political patterns. Which is interesting taking into account his past, but let’s give the new bunch a chance. They seem to take it seriously…And the first projections of voters’ attituted, the party would get into the parliament with around 5%. If the party manages to attract some of the non-voters then it’s bingo for the left, if not then it stays the same, only the votes split.

The party can indeed offer something new, but few would take it for granted. Politics is not a game for virgins and as such it’s good the new party got Golobic as president. If he carefully creates his new image in the media and maintains a professed “honest” take at things, then the votes will come. At the same time Slovenia might experience an organised action from those individuals fed up with the way things run today.

Why now? It seems that the parliamentary elections in 2008 will be interesting. The 12-years-Prime Minister, then President, Janez Drnovsek is saying goodbye to politics. Igor Bavcar, head of Istrabenz, former Minister of Interior, parliamentarian, old friend of Jansa, but also an LDS member, is appearing in too many stories recently for him to be “out of politics”. Pahor is still leading the best positioned party, but for how long? LDS is becoming a bit more marginal that it has been in the past and the new president Katarina Kresal lost her initial charm through some of the TV debates. She’s tough, but appears fake. Golobic appeared hungry for a political engagement and also aware that some more people from the “independence days” might be coming back. The generation of young politicians (Bavcar and Golobic among them) that engages again?

Would make it interesting.

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