Anti-immigrant party emerges largest in Slovenia polls but may struggle to find allies
Yet another European country made its anti-immigrant stance clear on Sunday, June 3, when the Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS) of right-wing leader Janez Jansa emerged as the single largest party in the country's elections.
However, with 25 seats out of 90 in the National Assembly, the SDS now has the challenge of finding coalition partners to form an effective government. Forty-six seats are required to form the majority.
Lista Marjana Sarca of actor-turned-politician Marjan Sarec finished as the second biggest party with 13 seats while Social Democrats of Dejan Zidan got 12 seats. Modern Centre Party of the outgoing prime minister Miro Cerar got 10 seats.
Cerar stepped down in March after the country's Supreme Court gave a ruling annulling a September 2017 referendum vote supporting a railway project worth a billion euro ($1.17bn).
After the polls closed, 59-year-old Jansa, who served as Slovenia's prime minister twice in the past, said he was committed to form the government "for the good of all our citizens" and to see a "safe Slovenia".
Other parties, however, did not prefer an alliance with Jansa. Many of them said before the election that they were not in favour of joining an SDS-led coalition because of its harsh anti-immigrant stance, Al-Jazeera reported.
Sarec told POP TV after the polling that he was "very happy" with the preliminary results for it could give him an opportunity to form government with other parties to keep Jansa at bay, the Al-Jazeera report added.
Sarec said during the election campaign that Jansa's anti-immigration rhetoric "crossed all the red lines", the report added.
Slovenia served as an important transit point during the European refugee crisis as a million of them passed through it in 2015.
According to experts, the anti-immigrant rhetoric was being used to distract focus from real economic issues, the report further added.