22 July 2021
Slovene populist Prime Minister Janez Janša survived an attempted impeachment motion. He readies himself for the rotating EU presidency despite an unstable ruling coalition at home facing further calls for an early election. Will Janša bring his signature manipulative rhetoric and extensive record of extremist comments to mainstream European politics? Populists in the Visegrad countries will follow his performance carefully to see how far Janša can go and how the EU will react.
The last Friday of May saw the greatest crowd of protestors to date gather in the streets of Slovenia’s capital, Ljubljana. Similar to previous ‘Friday protests’, these demonstrations are voicing disenfranchisement with the current cabinet’s divisive rhetoric and corruption scandals. The figure of Prime Minister Janez Janša, the country’s populist far-right leader, has been the most frequent object of protestors’ discontent.
Moreover, this Friday protest came at the end of a week that saw an attempt to impeach Janez Janša, an effort which ultimately failed because it came four votes short of a 46-majority in the country’s parliament with 90 deputies.
Leading opposition figures instigating the impeachment were quick to point out that the Janša camp rejected the motion with 44 votes, seeing in this additional proof that the current Slovene government is short of a reliable majority in the Slovene parliament.