Presidential Election 2017: Fear And Loathing Of Borut Pahor, Maja Makovec Brenčič Joins Fight Club

T-minus-seven and the presidential race finally heats up. At least in terms of words if not (yet) in numbers. Earlier today a group of broadly left-leaning intellectuals published a scathing rebuke of President Borut Pahor while the leader of the opposition SDS Janez Janša did something similar – only far more effective – days before. All the while Maja Makovec Brenčič running on the SMC ticket finally realised she’s got nothing left to lose and is at least trying to have fun.


SMC presidential nominee Maja Makovec Brenčič moments before she punches voters on the nose in her Twitter ad (source)

The polls, however, have remained consistent over the last few days. Borut Pahor is still well within the reach of clinching a first-round victory and thereby a second term as President of the Republic, joining Milan Kučan as the only president to have done so (both Janez Drnovšek and Danilo Türk served only one term, the former on account of ill health, the latter on account of, you know, losing elections). However, Pahor is not there yet. And he desperately wants to be there, lest he be subjected to the Hillary Effect in Round Two, which is why his camp is trying desperately to chip off points from other candidates wherever it can.

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Presidential Election 2017: About As Fun As Type 2 Diabetes

Muddy Hollows is three, nay, two weeks away from the presidential election and despite having already weathered through the first onslaught of the debates, the candidates seem to have barely moved from their starting positions. What has changed since the last time pengovsky posted on the issue, however, is the number of actual candidates.


Borut Pahor being weird behind Ljudmila Novak’s back during the radio debate (source)

For all the colour the prospective candidates promised it turned out that all but two out of nine are straight up party nominees and that exactly zero out of nine are anti-establishment. That’s despite a number of them openly flirting with populism and regardless of the number of signatures they hauled in. Campaigns of true grass-roots would-be candidates such as Milan Jazbec (remember him?) and Andrej Rozman – Roza went nowhere fast while mayor of Koper Boris Popovič and alt-right candidate Andrej Šiško somehow managed to produce enough signatures that in combination with their respective parties’ support they got on the ballot.

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Chemin De re-Fer-endum

As the world watches the Teutonic Vote unfold today there’s another, albeit slightly less dramatic ballot taking place as the good people of Muddy Hollows are registering their preference in a referendum on the second rail track of the Divača-Koper railway.


(source)

Now, pengovsky wrote this one up some-place else (here’s an awkward and sometimes unintentionally profound Google translation) so suffice it to say here this is the sort of infrastructure project politicos usually foam at the mouth for. You know: big constructions with big machinery and big price tags where a casual observer could be forgiven for thinking he or she waded into a Freudian clinic.

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Presidential Elections 2017: Year Of The Women

With six, nay, five weeks until the first round of the presidential election in Muddy Hollows, the field is getting slightly more crowded and the race somewhat more interesting than initially imagined.


From left to rigth: Ljudmila Novak, Romana Tomc, Angelca Likovič, Suzana Lara Krause, Maja Makovec Brenčič (source, source, source, source & source)

As expected the main political parties (i.e. those with deputies in the parliament) were struggling to find people willing to challenge incumbent president Borut Pahor. After all if recent polls are anything to go by, the guy is more popular than Donald Trump at a white-supremacist rally. But since one has to keep up appearances, these parties had (or still have) to field candidates, lest they be perceived as not giving a flying fuck about the office of the president. Which for the most part they don’t, but that is widely considered to be a bad approach to an election.

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President Pahor Mounts a Reaganesque Defence in TEŠ 6 Investigation

Vacation, as per von Clausewitz, is a continuation of stress by other means. And while pengovsky planned to post extensively during the vacay it turned out that another von (Moltke, in this case) was right when he observed that no plan survives the initial contact with the enemy. Which makes one wonder just what exactly President Borut Pahor’s plan was yesterday when he faced off with former coalition partner and former leader of now-defunct Zares party Gregor Golobič as they both testified in front of the parliamentary committee investigating the clusterfuck that is the TEŠ 6 power plant in Šoštanj.


Gregor Golobič and Borut Pahor (right) (source: RTVSLO)

Now, sitting presidents in Slovenia don’t often get called to testify in parliamentary investigations. In fact, the last one to have done so was Milan Kučan, testifying in 1995 on the circumstances on the JBTZ affair in 1988, one of the key events in emergence of multi-party democracy in Slovenia and its drive for independence. Additionally, this was – by pengovsky’s admittedly perfunctory count – the very first instance of a sitting Slovenian president facing off with a contradicting witness. This alone makes yesterday’s a truly remarkable event. Then there’s the fact that it was Golobič vs. Pahor, a former and a current political heavy-weight respectively who used to bat for more or less the same team as coalition partners in Pahor’s 2008-2011 government (later brought down by Golobič for reasons including but not limited to TEŠ 6). And secondly – or thirdly, for those keeping count – the mere fact that the showdown at OK TEŠ 6 took place less than two months before the first round of presidential elections makes this a rather extraordinary occurrence.
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