So, the second round of presidential elections is five… no… four days away and the Peterle Campaign has finally decided to hit below the belt. Namely: during Monday’s debate Lojze Peterle drew a disctinction between himself and Danilo Türk, saying that the latter was still representing Yugoslavia at UN HQ in Geneve in 1991 while he (Peterle) was among those who put their heads in a bag and went for broke during preparations for Slovene independence.
The “incriminating” document
In normal circumstances this would have been a bomb-shell… However, what Peterle and his team conveniently forgot is the fact that Slovenia was recognised by the EU on January 15th 1992 and that it became a member of the UN in June 1992.
So the fact that Türk was technically a part of Yugoslav delegation means that he was resorceful enough (and the UN permissive enough) to find a way to operate in the institution, albeit as a member of the already defunct Yugoslavia. Just to give you a comparison: foreign minister Dimitrij Rupel (whose ministry leaked the above document) attended an OSCE conference at about the same time (pre-1992) as a member of the Austrian delegation and yet I don’t see or hear anyone claiming that he – say – wanted Slovenia to become an Austrian province.
This move by Peterle carries all the trademarks of a panic-attack, not unlike the one in the final stages of municipal elections in 2006, when government of Janez Janša leaked documents supposedly damaging to the then-front-runner Zoran Janković. The documents turned out to be a load of bollocks and Janković went on to become mayor of Ljubljana with a landslide 63 percent of the vote. And those documents were much more substantial than today’s document aimed at bringing Danilo Türk down a peg or two.
While this might galvanise the nationalist element within the political right, it might blow right into Peterle’s face by getting Türk additional sympathy votes of people who don’t care about either candidate, but hate low blows. And there are a surprising number of those out there.