Politics of Slovenia: Wikis

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Slovenia

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The politics of Slovenia takes place in a framework of a parliamentary representative democratic republic, whereby the Prime Minister of Slovenia is the head of government, and of a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in the parliament. The Judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature.

Contents

Political developments

Main entrance in the Slovenian Parliament Building.

As a young independent republic, Slovenia pursued economic stabilization and further political openness, while emphasizing its Western outlook and central European heritage. Today, with a growing regional profile, a participant in the SFOR peacekeeping deployment in Bosnia and the KFOR deployment in Kosovo, and a charter World Trade Organization member, Slovenia plays a role on the world stage quite out of proportion to its small size.

From 1998 to 2000, Slovenia occupied a nonpermanent seat on the UN Security Council and in that capacity distinguished itself with a constructive, creative, and consensus-oriented activism. Slovenia has been a member of the United Nations since May 1992 and of the Council of Europe since May 1993. Slovenia signed an association agreement with the European Union in 1996 and is a member of the Central European Free Trade Agreement. Slovenia also is a member of all major international financial institutions (the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank Group, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development) as well as 40 other international organizations, among them the World Trade Organization, of which it is a founding member.

Since the breakup of the former Yugoslavia, Slovenia has instituted a stable, multi-party, democratic political system, characterized by regular elections, a free press, and an excellent human rights record. By Constitution of Slovenia the country is a parliamentary democracy and a republic. Within its government, power is shared between a directly elected president, a prime minister, and a bicameral legislature (Parliament). Parliament is composed of the 90-member National Assembly—which takes the lead on virtually all legislative issues—and the National Council, a largely advisory body composed of representatives from social, economic, professional, and local interests. The Constitutional Court has the highest power of review of legislation to ensure its consistency with Slovenia's constitution. Its nine judges are elected for 9-year terms.

In 1997, elections were held to elect both a president and representatives to Parliament's upper house, the National Council. Milan Kučan, elected President of the Yugoslav Republic of Slovenia in 1990, led his country to independence in 1991. He was elected the first President of independent Slovenia in 1992 and again in November 1997 by a comfortable margin.

Janez Drnovšek of the center-left Liberal Democratic Party of Slovenia (LDS) was reelected Prime Minister in the October 15, 2000 parliamentary elections. Drnovšek's coalition held an almost two-thirds majority in Parliament.

The government, most of the Slovenian polity, shares a common view of the desirability of a close association with the West, specifically of membership in both the European Union and NATO. For all the apparent bitterness that divides left and right wings, there are few fundamental philosophical differences between them in the area of public policy. Slovenian society is built on consensus, which has converged on a social-democrat model. Political differences tend to have their roots in the roles that groups and individuals played during the years of communist rule and the struggle for independence.

As the most prosperous republic of the former Yugoslavia, Slovenia emerged from its brief ten-day war of secession in 1991 as an independent nation for the first time in its history. Since that time, the country has made steady but cautious progress toward developing a market economy. Economic reforms introduced shortly after independence led to healthy economic growth. Despite the halting pace of reform and signs of slowing GDP growth today, Slovenians now enjoy the highest per capita income of all the transition economies of central Europe.

The Slovenians have pursued internal economic restructuring with caution. The first phase of privatization (socially owned property under the SFRY system) is now complete, and sales of remaining large state holdings are planned for next year. Trade has been diversified toward the West (trade with EU countries make up 66% of total trade in 2000) and the growing markets of central and eastern Europe. Manufacturing accounts for most employment, with machinery and other manufactured products comprising the major exports. Labor force surveys put unemployment at approximately 6.6% (Dec. 2000), with 106,153 registrations for unemployment assistance. Inflation has remained below double-digit levels, 6.1% (1999) and 8.9% (2000). Gross domestic product grew by about 4.8% in 2000 and is expected to post a slightly lower rate of 4.5% in 2001, as export demand lags. The currency is stable, fully convertible, and backed by substantial reserves. The economy provides citizens with a good standard of living.

Ten years after independence, Slovenia has made tremendous progress establishing democratic institutions, enshrining respect for human rights, establishing a market economy and adapting its military to Western norms and standards. In contrast to its neighbors, civil tranquility and strong economic growth have marked this period. Upon achieving independence, Slovenia offered citizenship to all residents, regardless of ethnicity or origin, avoiding a sectarian trap that has caught out many central European countries. Slovenia willingly accepted refugees from the fighting in Bosnia and has since participated in international stabilization efforts in the region.

On the international front, Slovenia has advanced rapidly toward integration into the Euro-Atlantic community of nations. Invited to begin accession negotiations with the European Union in November 1998, Slovenia has achieve two of its primary foreign policy goals: membership in the EU and NATO. Slovenia also participates in the Southeast Europe Cooperation Initiative (SECI).

Government Palace in Ljubljana.

Slovenia remains firmly committed to achieving NATO membership in a second round of enlargement. Slovenia has been an active participant in Partnership for Peace (PfP) and has sought to demonstrate its preparedness to take on the responsibilities and burdens of membership in the Alliance. The United States looks to Slovenia to play a productive role in continuing security efforts throughout the region. It has done much– contributing to the success of IFOR, SFOR, efforts in Albania, the Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Kosovo, and elsewhere– and has continued to expand actively its constructive regional engagement.

Slovenia is one of the focus countries for the United States' southeast European policy, aimed at reinforcing regional stability and integration. The Slovenian Government is well-positioned to be an influential role model for other southeast European governments at different stages of reform and integration. To these ends, the United States urges Slovenia to maintain momentum on internal economic, political, and legal reforms, while expanding their international cooperation as resources allow. Although harmonization with EU law and standards will require great efforts, already underway, the EU accession process will serve to advance Slovenia's structural reform agenda. U.S. and Allied efforts to assist Slovenia's military restructuring and modernization efforts are ongoing.

Constitution

The constitution was adopted on 23 December 1991, effective 23 December 1991.

Executive branch

Main office holders
Office Name Party Since
President Danilo Türk unaffiliated 23 December 2007
Prime Minister Borut Pahor SD 7 November 2008

The president is elected by popular vote for a five-year term. Following National Assembly elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of a majority coalition is usually nominated to become prime minister by the president and elected by the National Assembly. The Council of Ministers is nominated by the prime minister and elected by the National Assembly.

Legislative branch

The National Assembly (Državni zbor) has 90 members, elected for a four year term, 88 members elected by proportional representation using D'Hondt formula and 2 members elected by ethnic minorities using the Borda count.

Political parties and elections

e • d  Summary of the 21 October and 11 November 2007 Slovenian presidential election results
Candidate and nominating party 1st round 2nd round
Votes % Votes %
Danilo Türk (independent, supported by the Social Democrats, the Democratic Party of Pensioners of Slovenia, Zares and Active Slovenia) 241,349 24.47 677,333 68.03
Lojze Peterle (independent, supported by New Slovenia, the Slovenian Democratic Party and the Slovenian People's Party) 283,412 28.73 318,288 31.97
Mitja Gaspari (independent, supported by the Liberal Democracy of Slovenia) 237,632 24.09  
Zmago Jelinčič Plemeniti (Slovenian National Party) 188,951 19.16
Darko Krajnc (Youth Party of Slovenia) 21,526 2.18
Elena Pečarič (independent, supported by the Akacije party) 8,830 0.89
Monika Piberl (Women's Voice of Slovenia) 4,729 0.48
Valid 986,429 100.0 995,621 100.0
Invalid 5,279 0.53% 9,738 0.97%
Total 991,708 1,005,359
Source: Ministry of Public Administration
e • d  Summary of the 3 October 2004 Slovenian National Assembly election results
Parties Votes % Seats
Slovenian Democratic Party (Slovenska demokratska stranka, SDS) 281,710 29.08 29
Liberal Democracy of Slovenia (Liberalna demokracija Slovenije, LDS) 220,848 22.80 23
Social Democrats (Socialni demokrati, SD) 98,527 10.17 10
New Slovenia – Christian People's Party (Nova Slovenija – Kršcanska ljudska stranka, NSi) 88,073 9.09 9
Slovenian People's Party (Slovenska ljudska stranka, SLS) 66,032 6.82 7
Slovenian National Party (Slovenska nacionalna stranka, SNS) 60,750 6.27 6
Democratic Party of Pensioners of Slovenia (Demokraticna stranka upokojencev Slovenije, DeSUS) 39,150 4.04 4
Active Slovenia (Aktivna Slovenija) 28,767 2,97 -
Slovenia is Ours (Slovenija je naša, SJN) 25,343 2.62 -
Youth Party of Slovenia (Stranka mladih Slovenije, SMS) 20,174 2.08 -
Others 39,398 4.07 -
Hungarian and Italian ethnic minorities 2
Valid votes 968,772   90
Total Votes (turnout 60.64 %) 991,123
Eligible voters 1,634,402
Source: [1]

Administrative divisions

Slovenia is divided into 210 municipalities, of which 11 are urban municipalities with a greater degree of autonomy.

International organization participation

Slovenia is member of BIS, CCC, CE, CEI, EAPC, EBRD, ECE, EU, FAO, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat (nonsignatory user), Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO, ITU, NAM (guest), NATO, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, PFP, SECI, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNFICYP, UNIDO, UNTSO, UPU, WEU (associate partner), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO

Opinion Polls

Source Date SDS SD LDS DeSUS NSi Zares SNS SLS Another Party I Don't Know
Vox Populi June 21 27.4% 18.8% 5.7% 5.1% N/A 6.1% 6.1% 2.9% N/A N/A
Delo June 24 22% 21.3% 3.9% 3.4% 3.7% 4.9% 6.1% 3.3% 22.4% 19.9%
Episcenter June 29 32% 20.4% 5.5% 4.7% 5.9% 8% 5.7% 3% .9% 10%
Delo July 13 21.4% 19.2% 6.4% 1.9% N/A 5% 5.2% 1.7% 18.1% 19.7%
Episcenter July 27 27% 22% 9% 4% 5% 7% 6% 1% 1% 13%
Delo August 11-13 25.3% 15.6% 4.5% 1.7% N/A 3.6% 6.1% 1.9% 14.9% 25.5%
Vox Populi August 18-20 23.5% 20.5% 5.3% 3.4% N/A 6.9% 6.7% 0.9% 3.2% 18.2%

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