|Really — Social Liberals
Zares — socialno-liberalni
|Split from||Liberal Democracy of Slovenia|
|International affiliation||Liberal International (Observer)|
|European affiliation||Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party|
|European Parliament group||Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe|
|Politics of Slovenia
Zares – Social Liberals (Slovene: Zares – socialno-liberalni) is a social-liberal political party in Slovenia. Its president is Gregor Golobič, former Secretary General of the Liberal Democracy of Slovenia and former close advisor to the late Janez Drnovšek, who had previously abandoned active political involvement due to disagreements with his party. Until October 2011, the party was called Zares - New Politics (Zares - nova politika), when the party adopted its current title. The party supports a social progressive and economically social-democratic agenda, strongly supports the European Union and was a staunch opponent of the former Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Janša. Since 17 November 2007, Zares has been an observer member of the Liberal International.
Zares was founded in 2007 as the result of a split within the Liberal Democracy of Slovenia, when 6 MPs of the National Assembly, led by former Minister of Economy Matej Lahovnik, left their original party and founded a new parliamentary group. In the 2007 presidential election, the party supported Independent presidential candidate Danilo Türk, who was elected President of Slovenia.
The party's first election, Zares gathered 9.4% of the vote, gaining 9 parliamentary seats and became the third strongest party in Slovenia. Before the election the party allied itself with the Social Democrats and the Liberal Democracy of Slovenia in an unofficial coalition. From November 2008 till October 2011, Zares was part of the centre-left government led by Social Democrats party president Borut Pahor. At the 2011 Slovenian parliamentary election on 4 December 2011, Zares won 0.65% of the vote, thus not reaching the parliamentary threshold of 4%.
- Leaders (as of December 2011)
- Other prominent members
- Pavle Gantar
- Janez Kopač
- Matej Lahovnik - left the party on 5 July 2010
- Andrej Rus
- Majda Širca
- Vito Turk
- Ivo Vajgl
In June 2009, Golobič was involved in a so-called Ultra Scandal named after the Slovenian IT company Ultra, where Golobič was employed between 2003 and 2007. He was accused of misleading the media about his investment into that company during the campaign for the 2008 parliamentary election. According to allegations, the company had some 21 million euro of unsecured loans at the state-owned Nova Ljubljanska Banka (NLB). When the media examined the loans, it came out that Golobič owns 10% of Ultra SUM, a Netherlands-based company which owns 70% of Ultra company. This was a fact that he had withheld from the public during the 2008 general election campaign. Golobič publicly apologized for having misled the public, but refused to resign as the minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology  The Ultra Scandal was also one of the reasons for the decision of Matej Lahovnik, one of the co-founders of the party Zares, to leave the party in July 2010. Lahovnik, at the time Minister of Economy, mentioned Golobič's alleged misuse of political influence in order to favor his business partners as one of the reasons for his break with the party. As a response, Golobič demanded that Lahovnik stepped down from his position of Minister of Economy and qualified his behavior as "Brutus-like", that is, treacherous.
- ZARES official site
- Vít Hloušek; Lubomír Kopeček (1 June 2010). Origin, Ideology and Transformation of Political Parties: East-Central and Western Europe Compared. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. pp. 120–. ISBN 978-0-7546-7840-3. Retrieved 2 February 2013.
- "Republic of Slovenia Early Elections for Deputies to the National Assembly 2011: Election results". National Electoral Commission. Retrieved 16 December 2011.
- Slovenia Times article - July edition, page 6 - retrieved 2009-07-14
- "Lahovnik in Pahor odgovore prelagata na četrtek :: Prvi interaktivni multimedijski portal, MMC RTV Slovenija". Rtvslovenija.si. Retrieved 2011-10-23.
- "Golobič zanika konflikt interesov: Lahovnik ravnal brutalno in brutovsko :: Prvi interaktivni multimedijski portal, MMC RTV Slovenija". Rtvslovenija.si. 2010-04-14. Retrieved 2011-10-23.