On 3rd of June 2018 Slovenian Parliamentary elections took place where the Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS) with its leader Janez Janša was elected. According to Slovenian National Election Commission, the populist SDS party received 25% of the votes which entitle them to 25 of the 90-seat parliament, above that; the overall electoral participation just nearly passed 52 percent mark.

BACKGROUND OF THE ELECTION

There are 2 methods used to elect 90 members of the parliament:

  1. 88 places are elected to party candidates which are distributed to each party in proportion to the number of votes the party receives
  2. 2 places are elected by the Italian and Hungarian minorities through a first-past-the-post system

Citizens who have reached the age of 18 are eligible to vote and stand for the office. Furthermore, at least 35 % of the party candidate list must be made up of each gender.

EFFECT OF REFUGEE WAVE

Since 2015 Slovenia has been involved in the refugee crisis which resulted in thousands of migrants from the Middle East and Africa coming into the country. The refugee situation in Slovenia got especially intense when Hungary closed its boards to new migrants wanting to go through the country. Mr. Janša has even expressed that: “The influx of people fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East and Africa a threat to European values and a danger to the continent’s stability.”

CAMPAIGN AND MEDIA COVERAGE

All the parties were entitled to begin their official election campaigns 30 days before the elections and finish them 24 hours before the Election Day. In the SDS campaign migration was noticeably the central theme; several party’s posters addressed refugees and depicted migrants. Furthermore, in this April elected, strong Eurosceptic and anti-migration advocate Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has been a supporter of Mr. Janša who even attended two of SDS campaign events. (Read more about the most recent Hungarian Parliamentary elections in our report here).

Slovenia has a pluralistic media, nevertheless, until this day the television is the main source of receiving information on elections; however, the media that are covering the elections are regulated by the Election and Referendum Campaign Act and Television Corporation of Slovenia Act (RTV Act) and internal regulations adopted by the RTV Slovenia and other media broadcasters for each election. According to the ODIHR Needs Assessment Mission Report, the parties received free airtime during the election campaign in the public television which is based on their results in last parliamentary and European Parliament elections. It’s important to note, that the funding entity for the each paid advertisement for the party has to be made visible.

Furthermore, there is a support from the state to the political parties paid every year which is based on the votes received in the last parliamentary elections. Interestingly, each candidate party has the obligation to open a special bank account for the election campaign. These campaigns can be funded from different sources, such as loans, private donations and the party’s own funds.

The EIDP is planning to organize Election Observation Missions in year 2018/2019. Make sure you follow us on Facebook for updates on Call-for-Participants!

Sources:

ODIHR NEEDS ASSESSMENT MISSION REPORT

Slovenian National Election Commission data

The Guardian article ‘Slovenian nationalist party set for power after winning election’

The Guardian article ‘’Drain the swamp’: rightwing leader pulls ahead in Slovenia’s polls’

The New York Times article Slovenia Elections Tilt Another European Country to the Right’