The 2022 Slovenia parliamentary elections begin today.
Incumbent Prime Minister Janez Jansa and his ruling center-right Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS) face strong competition from the leftist Freedom Movement led by environmentalist Robert Golob. Recent polls show Freedom Movement support at 26%, with the SDS close behind at 25.6%.
Jansa—a right-leaning populist—has faced growing criticism from the opposition over accused authoritarianism. Jansa has put political and financial pressure on the country’s civil society, media outlets, and the rule of law. In contrast, Robert Golob has been gaining popularity for his green transformation and sustainable development platform.
Last month, Jansa visited Ukraine to show his solidarity with Kyiv amid the Russian invasion, a move meant to gain political capital ahead of today’s elections. Despite the move, Slovenia’s two main leftist parties have refused to join an SDS-led coalition. As such, expect Golob’s Freedom Movement to win today’s elections.
Given its current marginal lead over the SDS, the Freedom Movement is unlikely to consolidate a majority in parliament. Therefore, expect it to build a coalition with center and leftist parties, likely putting Slovenia back onto a democratic path in the short term, and setting the country up for green transformation in the long term.
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Alex is an Analyst focusing on political events in the post-Soviet space. With a background in international law and diplomacy, his expertise lies in the geopolitical, economic and energy security dynamics of the South Caucasus.