Slovenian National Party
|Slovenian National Party|
|Leader||Zmago Jelinčič Plemeniti|
|Founded||17 March 1991|
|Headquarters||Tivolska 13, 1001 Ljubljana|
|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. However, the descriptions others have given the party range from left-wing to far-right. According to researchers at the University of Ljubljana, the SNS combines elements of right-wing and left-wing ideology, and is not strictly a left-wing, nor a right-wing party, but nevertheless leans closer to the left.
The party's ideology has been strongly anti-clerical and has advocated a firm laicist position. The party is also generally opposed to gay rights. The party opposes the privatization of state-owned enterprises. The party opposes the introduction of a property tax and supports an increase in the minimum wage. The party has called for a change of the national flag and the coat of arms, feeling that they utilize symbols used by certain World War II paramilitary groups and lack a distinctly Slovenian historical character. The party supports replacing judges' lifetime mandate with an eight-year term. The party is opposed to Slovenia's membership the European Union and NATO.
Its leaders have been accused of chauvinist and even racist attitudes towards certain minorities, particularly Slovenia's Romani population. In the early 1990s, the party campaigned against allowing refugees from former Yugoslav republics into the country. The party has since moderated its rhetoric, although its leaders continue to voice strongly anti-Croatian positions. Among other things, Jelinčič has proposed that four disputed villages; Bužini, Mlini, Škodelini and Škrile, be placed within the municipality of Piran for the purpose of participating in Slovenian elections. He also advocates improving relationships with Serbia and has opposed the independence of Kosovo. The SNS frequently demands better treatment of Slovene minorities in neighboring countries.
Party foundations and leadership
The party was founded on 17 March 1991 by Zmago Jelinčič Plemeniti, who remains the party's leader. The traditional 19th century Kozler map of United Slovenia is one of the official party symbols.
In 1993, dissenting factions broke from the party and formed the Slovenian National Right and the National Party of Labor. Many of the dissenting members were supporters of Slovene Home Guard and objected to Jelinčič's support of the Slovene Partisans. Another split occurred in 2008, when several Slovenian National Party MPs left the party and formed the party "Lipa". These splits did not seriously affect 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.
In the second democratic elections in Slovenia on 6 and 10 December 1992, the SNS received 10.2% of the vote and 12 of the 90 seats in parliament. On 10 November 1996, their share of the vote declined to 3.22% and the party won 4 seats. On 15 October 2000, the party's share of the vote increased to 4.38% and its seats in parliament remained steady at 4. On 3 October 2004, the party's share of the vote increased to 6.27% and the party won 6 seats in parliament. In Slovenian legislative elections on 21 September 2008, the party's share of the vote declined to 5.4% and its seats in parliament dropped to 5. In the Slovenian parliamentary election on 4 December 2011, the party received 1.80% of votes and lost its representation in parliament, as it did not reach the parliamentary threshold of 4%. In the Slovenian parliamentary election on 13 July 2014, the party received 2.21% of votes, but did not win any seats in parliament.
In the 2002 presidential election, SNS leader Zmago Jelinčič Plemeniti received 8.49% of the vote, placing third. In the 2007 presidential election, Jelinčič increased his share to 19.16% of the vote, but placed fourth.
The SNS received 5.02% of the vote in the 2004 European parliamentary election. The party's share of the vote dropped to 2.85% in the 2009 European parliamentary election. The party's share of the vote increased to 4.04% in the 2014 European parliamentary election, but it did not win any seats.
The party receives support from various strands of society, and has traditionally done well among young voters and residents of the regions near the Italian and Austrian borders.
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