The polls predicted a tight result, but it was ultimately a landslide victory for liberal Robert Golob over Slovenian leader Janez Janša. Accused of having undermined democracy and the rule of law, the outgoing Prime Minister was beaten by a businessman who had recently entered politics. Robert Golob, 55, presented himself as the candidate for change, democracy and attachment to the European Union.
The atmosphere is boosted at the headquarters of Robert Golob. We are on the evening of April 24, the results have just been released and the center-left candidate wins by a wide margin: more than 34% of the vote, and a difference of ten points with his opponent, outgoing Prime Minister Janez Janša.
Isolated due to Covid-19, it is however from his home, by 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 for all: freedom! »
Six months ago, no one would have bet on such an outcome. An engineer by training, Robert Golob is an expert in solar energy and it is government interventionism that pushes him to get involved in politics. ” Robert Golob led one of the main energy groups in Slovenia for a long time and he managed to make it a very important group in the region, explains Slovenian political scientist Aljaž Pengov Bitenc. At the end of his four-year term, it seemed logical to renew him, because the group was doing very well ! But it turns out that Janez Janša’s government wanted to control this company in order to take control of the entire energy sector. And so the government did everything to get rid of him. »
“ political entrepreneur »
Mid-length hair, romantic allure and political know-how: Robert Golob then decided to launch a campaign to defeat Janez Janša, an ultraconservative close to Hungarian leader Viktor Orban. The center-left candidate will conduct a lightning campaign by taking over a small environmentalist party. And becomes, in just a few months, the main opponent of the power in place.
” This is the result of a fairly common political phenomenon today, deciphers Romain le Quiniou, general manager of the Eurocreative think tank. Robert Golob is a sort of political entrepreneur who manages to set up a party very quickly and achieve a result. We have had experience of 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 has managed to pose 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. »
A newcomer to the Slovenian political scene, Robert Golob embodies the figure of the providential man, a dazzling journey which is not without precedent in Slovenia, where political careers are made and unmade at very high speed. ” Slovenia is in a period of its democratic development where new faces appear regularly », explains political scientist Aljaž Pengov Bitenc.
“ Each 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 that 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 is able to learn from the mistakes made by his predecessors… And above all because there is a shared will between him and the leftist opposition of work together. »
Robert Golob should form his government in the coming weeks. He has already undertaken, contrary to his predecessor, to guarantee the independence of the public media and to re-establish solid links with the European Union.