‘The Biggest Loser’

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A newly-formed Slovenian party won the country’s parliamentary elections over the weekend, dealing a huge blow to populist prime minister, Janez Janša, Politico reported Monday.

The left-leaning Freedom Movement secured around 34 percent of the vote, just a few months after the party was taken over by businessman Robert Golob. Janša’s Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS), meanwhile, received nearly 24 percent.

The new party was able to secure at least 40 seats in the 90-seat lower house of parliament. Golob’s party will now hold a majority in parliament after the Social Democratic Party – which won seven seats – said it will join his government.

Analysts described the outgoing prime minister as “the biggest loser of these elections,” adding that Janša will attempt to question the legitimacy of the polls. But the outgoing leader congratulated the “relative winner” of the election and said that the “results are as they are,” according to Euronews.

Janša had accused his opponents of supporting Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and pro-SDS outlets had alleged that Moscow had interfered in the election.

It’s the third time Janša has been ousted as prime minister: He held the post from 2004 to 2008, and from 2012 to 2013 before he was jailed for two years on corruption charges. The populist leader regained power in 2020 after former Prime Minister Marjan Šarec resigned following a dispute over healthcare legislation.

Janša’s administration had been marked by a decline in democratic standards, and was often compared to similar backsliding in Hungary and Poland.

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