Robert Golob, the new providential man of Slovenia

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Polls predicted a tight result, but in the end it was a landslide victory for liberal Robert Golob over Slovenian leader Janez Janša. Accused of undermining democracy and the rule of law, the outgoing premier was beaten by a businessman who has recently entered politics. Robert Golob, 55, presented himself as the candidate for change, democracy and attachment to the European Union.

The atmosphere is revived in the Robert Golob headquarters. We are on the evening of April 24, the results have just been released and the center-left candidate wins by a wide margin: over 34% of the votes, and a difference of ten points with his opponent, the outgoing premier Janez Janša.

Isolated due to Covid-19, however, it is from his home, via video link, that the winner of the legislative elections addresses his supporters. “ People trust us and our ability to change. Today they dance and I expect you to dance too, but tomorrow we have to start working to justify this trust. This is our commitment to everyone: freedom!

Six months ago, no one would have bet on such an outcome. An engineer by training, Robert Golob is a solar energy expert and it is government interventionism that pushes him to devote himself to politics. ” Robert Golob has long led one of the leading energy groups in Slovenia and managed to make it a very important group in the region, explains Slovenian political scientist Aljaž Pengov Bitenc. At the end of the four years it seemed logical to renew it, because the group was doing very well ! But it turns out that Janez Janša’s government wanted to control this company to take control of the entire energy sector. And so the government went to great lengths to get rid of him.

political entrepreneur

Medium-length hair, romantic charm and political know-how: Robert Golob therefore decided to launch a campaign to defeat Janez Janša, an ultra-conservative close to Hungarian leader Viktor Orban. The center-left candidate will lead a flash campaign by taking over a small environmental party. And he becomes, in a few months, the main opponent of the existing power.

This is the result of a political phenomenon that is quite widespread today, deciphered Romain le Quiniou, general manager of the Eurocreative think tank. Robert Golob is a kind of political entrepreneur who manages very quickly to start a party and get a result. We have experienced this in France, for example with Emmanuel Macron and the En Marche group.

Robert Golob also benefited from the desire of a large part of the Slovenian population to put an end to Janez Janša, who was a scarecrow for a large number of voters. ” Robert Golob managed to position himself as the only alternative to Janez Janša, criticized for the deterioration of the rule of law both in Slovenia, but also abroad, particularly within the European Union.

European anchor

A newcomer on the Slovenian political scene, Robert Golob embodies the figure of the providential man, a dazzling journey that is unprecedented in Slovenia, where political careers are made and unraveled at very high speed. ” Slovenia is in a period of its democratic development in which new faces appear regularly, explains the political scientist Aljaž Pengov Bitenc.

Every time people project their fears, their desires on this new person and it is impossible to satisfy them. ! That said, of all these “new” personalities Slovenia has known in recent years, Robert Golob seems to be the best equipped to succeed. Not only because he has managerial experience, but also because he knows how to learn from the mistakes of his predecessors… And above all because there is a shared will between him and the left opposition to work together.

Robert Golob is expected to form his government in the coming weeks. He has already pledged, unlike his predecessor, to guarantee the independence of the public media and to re-establish solid ties with the European Union.

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