Pro-European Robert Golob defeats nationalist Janez Jansa in Slovenia

“Jansa’s defeat shows that the Slovenians were fed up with his politics and didn’t like the way he was steering the country towards Hungary,” said political analyst Andraz Zorko. “It’s positive for the EU.”

Golob, a 55-year-old former chief executive with long gray curls, has vowed to take on Jansa after he was ousted during the prime minister’s three-time tenure as head of state-owned power company GEN-I.

He is expected to form a government with one or both minor parties, the Social Democrats and the Left. He is committed to improving health care and pursuing a transition to a greener economy. The Freedom Movement, which he created in late January, has few members with political or governmental experience at the national level.

Along with a months-long lockdown that included a strict curfew and a botched vaccination campaign, Jansa cut funds from the state news agency and gave politicians more sway over the judiciary and police . Like Orban, Jansa has also courted Eurosceptic leaders. He met right-wing French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen when he chaired the rotating EU presidency last year.

Jansa, a 63-year-old former Marxist turned right-wing populist, has had a career marked by surprising comebacks – including a communist-era prison sentence and another after a corruption conviction in 2013 that was later overturned. Jansa denies any wrongdoing.

A staunch supporter of former US President Donald Trump, whom he backed ahead of the 2020 US election, he regularly fires at the judiciary and EU officials in crudely worded attacks on Twitter.


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