The President of the Republic of Slovenia


The exit polls are in and it looks like that Lojze Peterle (25,8%) and Danilo Türk (25,6%) will advance to the next round. But I will reserve my final call until later tonight, as Mitja Gaspari gor 24,5 % of the vote.

A big unwelcome surprise is the result of candidate of the Slovene National Party Zmago Jelinčič, who got 20,5 % of the vote

According to the Constitution, the powers of the President of the Republic are severely limited. However, the office of the President does bring some very important responsibilities, the chief one among one being the fact that the President is technically the Commander-in-Chief of the Slovene defense forces, which, curiously enough, besides the Army also include the Civil Defense and the firefighters. But that aside, the President is elected for a five-year term with a possibility of being immediately re-elected for another five-year term. He or she, however, cannot run for office again if they did not seek re-election after their first term ended.

Another important role of the President is to appoint the candidate for the Prime Minister, a rather curious provision of the Slovene Constitution, which stipulates that the Parliament must take two votes: first on the Prime Minister him- or herself and then on his or here selection of the cabinet, both of which must be approved in order for the Government to be formed. This of course puts the President of the Republic into the spotlight as far as selection of the Prime Minister is concerned.

This will do for now. It looks like the fun isn’t over yet as the second round will be held on November 11th. But I will continue to update this post as the night progresses.

UPDATE 1: According to state television, Peterle and Gaspari will proceed to the second round. This promises to be plenty of fun 😀

UPDATE 2 (2040 hrs): For all of you who want to follow the results in almost real-time, this is the link to the state electoral comission in English. It appears that the turnout was terribly low – only 53,6 % of eligible voters cast their vote. And – not unlike the last two presidential elections in the US, it could very well happen that the final result will be determined by overseas votes. Namely, the state electoral commission has (somewhat controversially) decided to send a ballot to every voter outside Slovenia, even to those who haven’t requested a ballot. It is understood that some 50 thousand ballots will be returned. This represents 3.125 percent of total votes and although most of those votes will probably go to Peterle, they could very well decide whether Türk or Gaspari go to the second round. Results @ 20:40 Peterle: 28,07%, Türk: 24,71%, Gaspari: 24,34%

P.S.: She speaks!!! 😆 PM’s – well – girlfriend Urška Bačovnik finally spoke to the media. First of all: she needs a lot of media tranining. But most importantly – she announced that she and PM Janša are about to get married. Not that it was totall unexpected, but still… The yellow press will probably go ga-ga over this tomorrow.

UPDATE 3 (2215 hrs): The elections will probably come down to the wire. The unofficial incomplete results show that Lojze Peterle got 28,5 percent of the vote, Danilo Türk got 24,55 percent and Mitja Gaspari got 24.16 percent.

So I guess it’s time for some analysis.

Probably the biggest surprise was the relatively low number of percentange of votes Lojze Peterle got. All the pre-election polls predicted he would get at least 10 percent more. And although he is still the winner of the first round, his campaing entered a downward trend which he must now work hard to stop it. Türk or Gaspari, however, have both exceeded expectations and whoever of the two goes on to the second round can build on the momentum in the next fourteen days.

The reasons for this rather surprising result? First and foremost, the criminally low turnout. But that may be more of an effect than a cause. Peterle seems to have neglected his electorate, taking it for granted and perhaps moving too much to the centre – his natular electorate failing to go to the polls as a result. On the other hand, neither Gaspari nor Türk have shown great promise during pre-election campaign, but are now in a dead-heat for a place in the second round. This early in the aftermath period (and lacking any empirical data) I would agree with an opinion by analyist Miha Kovač on POP TV, who said that Türk (and in my opinion Gaspari as well) did gain some ground in the centre in the final stages of the campaing, but that the disenchanted voters of the left have voted for fourth-placed nationalist Zmago Jeličnič.

The second round, held on 11 November, will be most interesting. Following the rules of simple mathematics, it looks as if Peterle is in grave danger, as combined votes for Türk and Gaspari by far exceed votes for Peterle. But there are a lof of “if”s out there and such a simple transfer of votes is highly unlikely. I would presume that in the next fourteen days we can expect much more visible roles of both the incumbent president (Janez Drnovšek) and his predecessor Milan Kučan, as well as a more promiment role of PM Janez Janša on the other side of the ring.

Results @ 2300 hrs: Peterle 28,5 %, Türk: 24,54 %, Gaspari: 24,15 %

Uncle Pengovsky Wants YOU To Cast Your Vote

Outgoing president Janez Drnovšek votes in last year’s municipal elections

As most of you know, Slovenia is about to hold presidential elections tommorow. Of the original ten candidates, seven have actually made it to the ballot. Thus we choose between Elena Pečarič, Darko Kranjc, Monika Piberl, Danilo Türk, Mitja Gaspari, Zmago Jelinčič and Lozje Peterle. Of the seven, Gaspari, Türk and Peterle are said to have chances of making it to the widely expected second round, to be held on 11 November.

Obviously, I have my own personal favourite (and also my prediction of the election results), but I shan’t share that with you. Mostly because I think that the only wrong thing to do in elections is not to vote. So, as I intend to keep this post short, I would just like to call upon everybody who is of voting age and holds a Slovenian citizenship, to go cast their vote.

Because if you don’t, then you have – mathematically speaking – basicaly cast a vote for the candidate you wouldn’t have voted in the first place. So take a stroll down to your local polling station, take your time and put a circle around the number of your choice.

I’ll post more on the powers of the President of the Republic tomorrow around 1900 hrs (CET), when the first results are in.


Big Brother will be able to watch you vote (source)

Once again we are faced with the fact that (in Slovenia at least) stupidity is not confined to the political right. Namely: left wing MPs, Marko Pavliha (Social Democrats) and Slavko Gaber (Liberal Democrats) have proposed a bill which would enable electronic voting.

We are not talking about the antiquated electronic voting machines which (with a little help of Karen Huges and elderly Jews) fucked up Florida elections, but about proper electronic voting, with an electronic signature and a mouse.

I think this is a really fucking bad idea. The point of democratic and anonymous elections is that you cast your vote anonymously and without even a theoretical record of your voting preference. Electronic voting negates the very basics of free, fair and anonymous elections. If you use your (unique, might I add) electronic signature, vote from a specific IP address and cast your vote by clicking one candidate, records will be made.

This opens up a whole plethora of dangerous options, from election frauds to punshing individuals for their electoral preference. Because there will come a time when end will justify the means. And if something can be done, it eventually will be done. Sooner or later. Including controling the way people vote.

Thus Spake The Government

Minister of Internal Affairs Dragutin Mate

In light of the tragedy in front of Global Club in downtown Ljubljana which happened ten days ago, the government of Janez Janša took decisive and firm steps to enforce strict control over private security companies and prevent further loss of life. These steps include:

-bacground checks of security personel
-more specific conditions for revoking companies’ licenses
-more powers to inspectors who will now be able to temporarily shut down facilities without proper security
-legal rammifications for club owners (or owners of other facilites) without security or who hired a non-licensed security company
-enabling the Ministry of Internal Affairs to execute continuous control of security companies’ meeting the criteria of the law
-specifies conditions for revoking a security guard’s badge.

Thus spake the goverment…Now, ladies and getlemen… Let’s take a look at current provisions of the Law on private security companies. Specifically, Articles 19 and 20, which stipulate conditions that have to be met by a security company and a security guard respectively to get their license:

-passing an appropriate education programme
-has achieved “national vocational qualification” of a security manager
-a background check showed no reservations
-is a citizen of Republic of Slovenia

According to Article 33 of the same Law, a copmany which secures a public gathering must have at least thirty (30) licensed security guards which have passed an educational programme verified by the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

Furthermore, the law is quite specific on the conditions for temporary revocation of a company’s license, but rather vague on permanent revocation. Oddly enough, the new government measures are quite specific on temporary revocation of the said license, but say nothing of permanent revocation.

The inevitable conclusion is that the measures passed by the government bring nothing new, but are only an attempt at snowing the public. The law is there, it only needs to be executed properly. Case in point being this PR release by the Inspectorate of Internal Affairs (Slovene only) dated 26 January 2006 which says that VIP Varovane (the incriminated security company) had no security license whatsoever, let alone a specific license required to secure a public gathering. Truth be said, the same company did apparently get a license (at least according to this list), but the law could have been executed much earlier and lives could have been saved.

The government needn’t pass new legislation. it just needs to execute the existing one. But – in reality – what are the internal minister Dragutin Mate and his boss Janez Janša doing to protect citizens of this country? Nothing. Period.

Let Them Eat Cake

No bread? Let them eat cake, then! (source)

The inflation in Slovenia shows no inclination of returning to normal levels and it would take a super-human effort to bring it down rapidly. So our wise leadership had (once again) devised a cunning plan on how to bring down spending.

According to the minister of economy the nation “not be picky and shouldn’t complain about eating a day-old bread”. Now, a day old bread can be a really wonderful thing, I just sort of hate it when a minister with a government car, a driver, a government credit card and meals paid by the taxpayers, tells me what to eat and when to eat it. Call me marxist, but I see a slight credibility issue here.

But it turns out that this is nothing compared with the fact that PM Janez Janša has seen loafs of bread in the dustbin somewhere in this country and that prompted the following rhetorical idiotism: “As long as I see loafs of bread in the dustbins, things are not all that dramatic”.

Sounds much like Marie- Antoniette, no? And she was decapitated for it…