Centre-right Slovenian Democrats sweep to victory at Slovenia's parliamentary elections

08-10-2004

Since Slovenia's independence in 1991, the center-left party (LDS) has dominated national politics. Their nearly 12-year streak (with only brief interruptions) came to an end during last Sunday's parliamentary elections, when the center-right party, the SDS, led by Janez Jansa, swept to victory. Although final, official results are still pending, all signs are pointing to Janez Jansa being tipped as Slovenia's next prime minister. We recently spoke with Mr. Jansa about the election results and the future of the country:

"Our result was not so unexpected; inside the party we expected the winning result. We've had troubles with public research for public polls all the time in the past and there are not reliable sources. But, anyway, we are satisfied with our result, we are satisfied with the result gained by the coalition Slovenia, we got together more votes than the whole current governmental coalition. This is a clear sign for Slovenia for the next term."

Slovenia made news internationally during the recent border incident with Croatia. What is your opinion on Croatia's EU bid?

"Slovenia will support Croatian efforts to enter the EU; I think this is the common interest. Of course, the conditions for entering the EU are the same for all candidates. We were able to fulfil these conditions and we are expecting the same from Croatia. We'll try to solve these open issues with negotiations. We are preparing some new initiatives for the next mandate. If we form the next government, we hope that the Croatian People's Party and Mr Sanader inside of the European People's Party will also contribute a little to a better environment for talks and negotiations. But I'm not a very big optimist, so I think that some open issues between these two countries are too tough, too old, to be solved overnight."

Finally, looking ahead to the future, what are the main problems for Slovenia and what are your immediate domestic priorities?

"First we will try to reform our educational system. We want to raise the quality of education and also of public services. We want to improve the climate for foreign investment, but first of all we want to get a clear picture of Slovenian public finance. We don't know if everything which was told to us during the election campaign and if all the data are correct or not. We have some bad experiences from the past and we won't estimate anything before we do not complete this research."

08-10-2004