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Who Are The Main Actors In The Reconstruction Of The Left And The Destruction Of The SD Party?

Recently, we have seen an increasing number of indications that we are heading towards the break-up or even the end of the Social Democrats party (Socialni demokrati – SD). The party’s “boat” is sinking because of an affair that started in the Ministry of Justice. A month or so after it broke, the names of the real actors behind the SD’s sinking are coming to light. As our interlocutor Sebastjan Jeretič, a long-standing member of the party revealed, they come both from inside and outside the SD party. These are names familiar to our readers who want to see a political reconstruction of the left pole before the elections.

“One of the main actors is certainly Uroš Jauševec, who is making this publicly known. He makes no secret of the fact that he has set out to overthrow the party leadership. It is, therefore, not surprising that the first calls for the replacement of the President of the party came from Kranj. The Social Democrats there are led by Janez Černe, the opposing candidate of Klemen Žibert at the last congress, and this opposing candidate had the support of Uroš Jauševec, who is also the former Secretary-General of the party,” explained Sebastjan Jeretič.

But the actors who have a vested interest in bringing down the current leadership (and destroying the party) are not only from Kranj. They can also be found outside the party, among the coalition partners and former politicians. In recent days, the Secretary-General of the largest coalition party – the Freedom Movement (Gibanje Svoboda), Vesna Vuković, was often mentioned as one of the key executioners of the Social Democrats. These days, however, another well-known name has emerged – Gregor Golobič, another former Secretary-General and politician.

The pairing of Golobič and Jauševec?

“These are background actors. These are actors who are not comfortable with the current power relations and who see for themselves the opportunity to destroy the existing ones in order to try to build something new on the ruins. It is a repetition of the well-known scenario we have already seen several times since the departure of Janez Drnovšek from active politics. Nothing radically new, in fact. This has happened many times before, because these particular actors are able to destroy certain apparatuses with determination, but they are not able to put them together,” pointed out Jeretič.

We asked Jeretič whether this group has a (at least informal) leader. He told us: “There has been talk of Gregor Golobič and Uroš Jauševec working together. This is surprising, given their relationship during the first government of Janez Janša, when they did not get along at all. I think it is quite possible that these rumours are true and that they have found each other.”

The incompetence of the SD party and the influence of radical individuals

Jeretič listed external and internal factors for the party’s disintegration. One of the internal factors is the incompetence of the leadership. He said that the party does not currently have enough capable individuals who would be able to prevent the party from going down. This is happening in the broader context of the pre-election battle on the left.

“So, there is friction within the coalition, and then there is also friction within the Social Democrats and the lack of strong figures who could manage to overcome the current situation.” When asked whether Tanja Fajon, the current President of the Social Democrats, is a figure who could do this, Jeretič replied firmly: “Not at all. She lacks the right character for political struggle.”

Several speculations have been circulating about the reasons why the clash between the Freedom Movement and the SD party even broke out. Many believe that the attack was prompted by the SD’s rise in the opinion polls.

Jeretič believes that the reasons should be found elsewhere – in the radicalism of some individuals in both parties, i.e. in the SD party and the Freedom Movement. “It is about the radicalism of individuals and the lack of strategic reflection. The actors are radical in character, all of them. They don’t understand that a rising tide lifts all boats, but a low tide lowers them all. These radical individuals have created an incredible tide within the left bloc.” These radical actors now see only one other option, and that is “the total destruction of all other actors on the left. However, this will cost all of them dearly”.

The public has already begun to talk of a new Social Democracy. Jeretič believes that the destruction of the Social Democrats is also taking place in light of this.

Will Tanja Fajon also withdraw?

The affair has already led to the resignation of the party’s Secretary-General, Klemen Žibert. Jeretič believes that the resignation of the party president could follow. The pressure is high, and the discontent is great.

Her withdrawal from the top of the party then opens the possibility of a congress to give the party a new leadership. Jeretič does not see any “phenomenal” choices in the current pool of candidates within the party: “Prednik, Han, Nemec, Rakovec, all these names could come round. The question is who would be willing to go for it in this situation and how the congress would even be structured. Certain actors behind the scenes have been extremely skilful in the past in messing with delegates, especially Jauševec.”

“The second question is whether the SD President is even prepared to swallow all this attitude shown towards the party by the Prime Minister, or whether she will perhaps pull an even more radical move, that is, leaving the coalition,” Jeretič explained.

Where have the Social Democrats gone?

The party once led by Borut Pahor was different from the Social Democrats we know today. But it got stuck, as the party today is “more partisan” than before, as former minister and professor Dr Žiga Turk wrote on social media. According to Jeretič, the modernisation of the SD party took place between 2004 and 2008. In particular, under the leadership of Dr Igor Lukšič, a programme renewal took place, which began, as Jeretič put it, “on the ground”. He argued that at that time, the party had the intellectual potential and a leader who was a modern leader beyond the centre. “In short, a leader of a third way, which at that time was an option that tried to unite and reduce polarisation,” he recalled.

“Today, the global trend is towards complete polarisation and radicalisation of politics, which Slovenian actors have merely followed. There is simply no intellectual capacity within the party anymore; the new generation that came in was more radical. In the end, they half-followed the Left party (Levica), even though it was clear to them that certain ideas of the Left party were unrealistic, futile, and harmful. They were in a kind of schizophrenic situation regarding all of this. On the one hand, they wanted to emulate the radical left, but on the other hand, they had so much experience, they were aware of the harmfulness of such a policy,” explained the former long-time strategist of the Social Democrats.

Žiga Korsika

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