Slovenia is a country located in the region of Southern Europe. Slovenia has long been regarded as the most stable of the countries that arose during the disintegration of Yugoslavia, but has in recent years been characterized by political instability. Three consecutive parliamentary elections have been announced prematurely and in all cases newly formed parties became government leaders. In March 2020, however, the large right-wing party SDS returned to office and Janez Janša again became prime minister.
In the parliamentary elections held in June 2018, the right-wing Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS) became the largest. But from the other parties, only the small Christian Democratic New Slovenia (NSI) was initially willing to cooperate with SDS. Party leader Janez Janša had played on xenophobic strings during the election campaign and was supported by, among others, Hungary’s right-wing nationalist Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. There was strong criticism among the other parties and Janša failed to form government.
- Countryaah: Country facts and history of Slovenia, including state flag, location map, demographics, GDP data, currency code, and business statistics.
Just over two months after the election, the assignment went to the leader of the second largest party, Marjan Šarec. He was supported in Parliament to form a minority government with four smaller parties and the support of the Left (see Calendar). The new government was approved by Parliament in September 2018. The 40-year-old former comedian Šarec became the country’s youngest head of government since independence in 1991. He had struck an EU-friendly tone, unlike Janša who dismissed the new government as “a waste of time”.
However, after just over a year, the Left Party withdrew its support for the government and a few months later, in January 2020, Marjan Šarec announced his departure. His hope was that President Borut Pahor would announce yet another new election, and that his own party would then strengthen his position. Higher growth and increased pensions and wages had contributed to the government’s relative popularity among voters.
But first, the 2018 election winner, SDS leader Janez Janša, again had to try to form a government. He has somewhat downplayed right-wing nationalist rhetoric, and this time he succeeded: in March 2020, an SDS-led majority government was finalized. It includes two parties that were also part of the outgoing government – the left-wing party SMC and the retirement party Desus – as well as the Christian Democratic NSI.
The new government took office at the same time as the corona pandemic became a fact in the world. Croatia largely closed down and at least initially the spread of infection in the country was relatively limited. By the end of May, around 100 people had died in covid-19.
Janez Janša could thus come back as prime minister, despite being a relatively contentious person. Janša was prime minister from 2004 to 2008 and returned in 2012, but was forced to resign the following year. He was sentenced to two years in prison for bribery in connection with a gun deal. After six months in prison, however, Janša was set free and in 2015 the Constitutional Court ruled that the evidence was defective, and ordered a new trial. A few months later, a district court dismissed the indictment, citing that the suspected crime was prescribed after ten years.
Janša and Ljubljana’s mayor Zoran Janković also got right in the Constitutional Court when they claimed that their rights were violated when they were appointed by an anti-corruption commission in 2013.
The suspicions and the verdict against Janša triggered repeated protests in Ljubljana for a couple of years by SDS supporters who considered him subject to political persecution.
Follow the ongoing development of the Calendar.
FACTS – POLITICS
Republic of Slovenia / Republic of Slovenia
republic, unitary state
Head of State
President Borut Pahor (2012–)
Head of government
Prime Minister Janez Janša (2020–)
Most important parties with mandates in the last election
Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS) 25, Marjan Šarec’s list (LMS) 13, Social Democrats (SD) 10, Modern Center Party (SMC) 10, Left (L) 9, New Slovenia (NSI) 7, Alenka Bratušek’s party (SAB) 5, Democratic Pensioners Party (Desus) 5, Slovenian Nationalist Party (SNS) 4, others 2 (2018)
Main parties with mandates in the second most recent elections
Miro Cerar’s Party (SMC) 36, Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS) 21, Democratic Retirement Party (Desus) 10, Social Democrats (SD) 6, Coalition United Left (ZL) 6, New Slovenia (NSI) 5, Alenka Bratušek’s Alliance (Zaab) 4, other 2 (2014) 1
52% in the 2018 parliamentary elections
parliamentary elections 2022, presidential elections 2022
- Miro Cerars party, SMC, changed its name to Moderna centerpartiet, SMC Sources in 2015
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