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Representatives Of The Ruling Party Like Guns

Darko Knez, a candidate of the ruling Freedom Movement party (Gibanje Svoboda) in the municipality of Ruše in the last local elections, recently posted a photo of himself holding a weapon on Facebook. In the past, a police officer from Nova Gorica, Dušan Djogić, celebrated the victory of the Freedom Movement party with gunshots.

It has been brought to our editorial office’s attention that on the 20th of May, Darko Knez, a municipal councillor of the Freedom Movement party from Ruše, congratulated one of his friends on his birthday via Facebook and attached a photo of himself brandishing a gun. He later deleted the photo.

The screenshot of the posted photo, which is most telling in itself, shows the way in which one of the private gatherings apparently took place. Needless to say, the scene is extremely disturbing, as it promotes violence in society. It is particularly inappropriate when one considers that this case involves a local politician from the ruling party, the Freedom Movement, who should be a model of behaviour for the people. Darko Knez was even appointed the first chairman of the local committee on the 22nd of April this year when the local committee of the Ruše branch of the  Freedom Movement party was formed.

Golob highlighted the importance of appropriate behaviour of politicians

Interestingly, at Monday’s regular session of the National Assembly, the Prime Minister and President of the Freedom Movement party, Robert Golob, responded to a question from the leader of the New Slovenia (Nova Slovenija – NSi) parliamentary group, Janez Cigler Kralj, regarding peer-to-peer violence by saying that the prevention of such violence also requires appropriate behaviour on the part of politicians. “If we want to prevent peer-to-peer violence, we have to start behaving properly, and if we want to prevent the spread of hatred on the internet and digital channels, we have to be the first to give it up by example,” he said, according to the Slovenian Press Agency, referring, of course, to the leader of the opposition, Janez Janša, who is a particular thorn in the side of the ruling Freedom Movement. But it is more than obvious that Golob should also take a deep look at his own party, because posting a photo on a social network of oneself brandishing a weapon is not and cannot be appropriate. After all, the memory of the shooting massacre in a Serbian primary school is still fresh in the minds of many and has sparked discussions on how to stem the tide of violence among young people here, too.

When the screenshot of the municipal councillor’s photo was published, many people probably remembered the scene of policeman Dušan Djogić, who emptied the magazine of a non-service pistol outside working hours as a sign of his joy at Golob’s Freedom Movement party’s victory in the elections. He even went so far as to post the senseless shooting outside a shooting range on his Facebook profile. He even posted a smiling emoji above the video, writing that he was feeling cheerful, and accompanied the shots with the words “Here’s to victory!” An internal security investigation was launched against the police officer, who is alleged to have repeatedly expressed controversial views on Twitter, including against the former government and the former Prime Minister personally, which was confirmed by the Nova Gorica police, who later said that the investigation had been closed. In an email, they said that “on the basis of this procedure, appropriate labour law measures were taken against the police officer for breach of contractual obligations under the employment relationship or breach of the employment contract, breach of the provisions of the Organisation and Work of the Police Act, the Police Rules and the Code of Police Ethics, and a written warning was served to the police officer prior to the regular termination of the employment contract.”

Given the Prime Minister’s recent statement, one would have expected that he would have reacted critically to the aforementioned online posts, as there should be no place for the brandishing of weapons in public if we really want to live in a tolerant and respectful society. Or will this merely be followed by silence again, as is usually the case with Freedom Movement, when it comes to their own mistakes? The Prime Minister, however, does not keep back when it comes to attacking the right. But what message is this silence sending the young people who regularly browse through social networks?

Ana Horvat

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