Slovenian National Party
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|Slovenian National Party
Slovenska nacionalna stranka
|Leader||Zmago Jelinčič Plemeniti|
|Founded||17 March 1991|
|Headquarters||Tivolska 13, 1001 Ljubljana|
|Political position||Far right|
|European Parliament group||None|
|Politics of Slovenia
The Slovenian National Party (Slovene: Slovenska Nacionalna Stranka, SNS) is an extreme nationalist political party in Slovenia, led by Zmago Jelinčič Plemeniti. The party is renowned for its euroscepticism and opposes Slovenia's membership in NATO. It also opposes what it considers historical revisionism of events in Slovenia during World War II and, to an extent, is sympathetic towards the former Yugoslav Communist regime of Josip Broz Tito. Although the party usually refuses to position itself within a left-right political spectrum, its president Zmago Jelinčič Plemeniti defined himself as left wing in a 2000 interview for the magazine Mladina.
At the Slovenian legislative elections on 21 September 2008, the party won 5.4% of the popular vote and five out of ninety seats, which is one less than at the previous election in 2004. Srečko Prijatelj, a former SNS member of the National Assembly, was in September 2010 the first member of the Slovenian parliament sentenced to prison. At the 2011 Slovenian parliamentary election on 4 December 2011, the party won 1.80% of votes, thus not reaching the parliamentary threshold of 4%.
The party has been led by Zmago Jelinčič since its founding in 1991. Jelinčič has often shifted the focus of the party's ideology in order to suit changing popular sentiment in Slovenia. In the early 1990s, the party led a chauvinist discourse against immigrants from former Yugoslav republics. This was somewhat moderated later, but the party continues to voice strongly anti-Croatian positions. Among other things, Jelinčič has proposed that the national border with Croatia be sealed, apart from two custom stations for trade, until the territorial dispute with Croatia is resolved (primarily the issue of the maritime border on the Gulf of Piran and several small areas along the land border). He also advocates improving relationships with Serbia and has opposed the independence of Kosovo. The SNS frequently and loudly demands better treatment of Slovene minorities in Italy, Austria and Hungary.
The party's ideology has been strongly anti-Catholic and has advocated a firm laicist position. Its leaders have been frequently accused of chauvinist and even racist attitudes towards certain minorities, particularly Slovenia's Roma population. The party also strongly opposes gay rights. Several of its MPs, including the party's former deputy chairman Sašo Peče, have publicly made numerous openly homophobic remarks. The party also has a strong anti-Roma discourse.
Party foundations, leadership and program
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The party was founded on 17 March 1991 by Zmago Jelinčič Plemeniti. Although Jelinčič has maintained a strong hold on the party's leadership ever since, the party has suffered several internal fractures and divisions over the years, with many prominent members abandoning it. This however has not seriously affected the party's structure, even though the ideologies of both SNS MPs and the party's membership tend to sometimes differ from Jelinčič's stands.
The party receives support from various strands of society; these range from Communists nostalgics to more moderate voters, especially among young people. The party advocates state intervention into economic matters, strict economic regulations, secularism, development of basic and applied science, and civic education in public schools. The party also calls for a change of the national flag (regarded by the party's program as "Pan-Slavic") and the coat of arms (called "an a-historical and hippie-inspired [referring to Marko Pogačnik] fabrication" by Jelinčič), reform of the justice system and withdrawal from the European Union and NATO.
In the second democratic elections in Slovenia in 1992, the SNS won more than 10% of the popular vote, which declined to around 6% in the 2004 legislative election. The party motto is "with no hair on the tongue" (a saying equivalent to "calling spade a spade"). The SNS takes pride in the party's rejection of all standards of political correctness in speech. For example, when Jelinčič was asked what the prime difference between SNS and the leftist Democratic Party of Pensioners of Slovenia was, he replied: "A young woman from time to time."
The traditional 19th century Kozler map of United Slovenia is one of the official party symbols. Jelinčič has also written a book entitled Hrvatje v luči zgodovinske resnice ("Croats in the light of historical truth"), originally published under the pseudonym "Psunjski" (the possessive form of "epithet"), wherein he harshly criticised Croatia and praised Slovenia, Serbia, the policies of Tito, and the anti-fascist struggle.
- Rizman, Rudolf M. (1999), "Radical Right Politics in Slovenia", The radical right in Central and Eastern Europe since 1989 (Penn State Press): 152, retrieved 14 November
- Hloušek, Vít; Kopeček, Lubomír (2010), Origin, ideology and transformation of political parties, Ashgate Publishing, p. 199, retrieved 14 November 2011
- Deloy, Corinne (2011), "The Rightwing Opposition Forces forecast to win in the Slovenian General Elections on 4th December next", European Elections monitor (Fondation Robert Schuman): 2, retrieved 14 November 2011
- "Republic of Slovenia Early Elections for Deputies to the National Assembly 2011: Election results". National Electoral Commission. Retrieved 16 December 2011.