Anti-immigration party wins Slovenia elections

Marja Novak — Reuters May 2, 2018

An anti-immigration opposition party won Slovenia’s parliamentary election on Sunday, taking 25 percent of the vote, according to preliminary results.

However, the centre-right Slovenia Democratic Party (SDS) of former prime minister Janez Jansa may struggle to pull together a government as its hardline stance on immigration has left it short of potential coalition partners.

Jansa acknowledged any post-election negotiations would be difficult. “We will probably have to wait for some time … before serious talks on a new government will be possible,” he told reporters after he cast his own vote.

Voters in a number of eastern members of the European Union – notably Hungary and Poland – have turned to parties which oppose the bloc’s plans under which countries would accept asylum seekers under a quota system.

The SDS, supported by Hungary’s nationalist Prime Minister Viktor Orban, is firmly opposed to such quotas and says most of the money used to support them should be diverted to the security forces.

“(Our) party puts Slovenia, Slovenians first,” Jansa said after preliminary results came out, adding that the SDS is ready for coalition talks with all other parliamentary parties. “We are open for cooperation, Slovenia is facing times which need cooperation,” he said.

Jansa, who was prime minister from 2004 to 2008 and from 2012 to 2013, had said he would cut taxes and speed up privatisation.

He spent six months in prison in 2014 after being convicted on bribery charges related to a 2006 arms deal but was freed after the Constitutional Court ordered a retrial which did not take place because a 10-year time limit expired. Jansa had denied any wrongdoing.

FRAGMENTED BALLOT

In a highly fragmented ballot, the Adriatic state’s 1.7 million-strong electorate was choosing between 25 parties of which nine made it to the parliament.

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