The Left (Slovenia)

The Left (Slovene: Levica) is an eco-socialist[1] and left-wing populist[7] political party in Slovenia. The party was established on 24 June 2017 by the merger of the Party for Sustainable Development of Slovenia (TRS) and Initiative for Democratic Socialism (IDS). The party is a successor of the left-wing electoral alliance, the United Left.[8]

The Left

LeaderLuka Mesec
Founded24 June 2017 (2017-06-24)
Merger ofTRS and IDS
Preceded byUnited Left
HeadquartersPrešernova cesta 3, Ljubljana
IdeologyDemocratic socialism[1]
Soft Euroscepticism[2]
Political positionLeft-wing[2][3][4][5][6]
European affiliationParty of the European Left
Colors     Red      Green
National Assembly
9 / 90
European Parliament
0 / 8
0 / 212
Municipal council
41 / 2,750


United Left was an electoral alliance between the Democratic Labour Party (DSD), Party for Sustainable Development of Slovenia (TRS), and Initiative for Democratic Socialism (IDS).[9][10] The alliance was also founded by a "fourth group" of non-party civic groups and movements, and autonomous individuals.[11] It was intended to provide an alternative to the traditional political establishment which came under intense public scrutiny following the 2011 Slovenian parliamentary elections, and serve as a political outlet for the ideals of the 2012–13 Slovenian protests (termed "Pan-Slovenian uprisings"[12] in Slovene).[13] After a lengthy unification process, two of the allied parties merged into a single entity.

The merger was finalized on 24 June 2017, when the first party congress was held. The merger was accompanied by an exodus of IDS members who hitherto opposed unification.[8] In keeping with IDS custom, the party leader holds the title of "coordinator". During the founding party congress, Luka Mesec was elected as coordinator (a position he previously held in IDS), and Violeta Tomič (previously leader of TRS[14]) was elected deputy coordinator.[15][16]

On 5 July 2017, Matjaž Hanžek left Levica parliamentary group to become an unaffiliated MP, thus leaving the party with only 5 parliamentary seats. He cited the "incorrect and undemocratic" unification process as the main reason for his departure. He expressed his wish to continue his work as chair of the parliamentary investigative committee looking into the TEŠ 6 affair (the committee was established as a result of a United Left initiative spearheaded by Hanžek).[17][18][19] He was the founder[20] and previously served as leader of TRS,[21] but he stepped down[14] and subsequently also left the party prior to unification.[20][22]

Shortly after the 2018 parliamentary election, the party was also subject to criticism due to allegations by party technical staff of relatively low pay, burdensome workload, and poor work relations (particularly with parliamentary group secretary, Matej Kolenc). Three of the party's eight aides announced their resignation and unofficial reports alleged others were also contemplating departure. Mesec, speaking about the affair, promised increased compensation for party staff, and voiced sympathy with the staffers regarding the hefty workload, explaining that due to high productivity of Levica parliamentary group relative to its small size, both MPs and political aides needed to overwork in order to accomplish as many political goals as they did during their first term.[23][24]

In the 2018 Slovenian parliamentary election, The Left garnered 9.33% of the vote, winning 9 parliamentary seats.[25] All 5 serving MPs were re-elected for second terms.[26] Nataša Sukič (who had hitherto served as the city councilor in Ljubljana)[27] was also elected on the party's ticket, becoming the first openly gay member of parliament in the nation's history.[28]

After the Christian conservative New Slovenia reneged on coalition talks with the five centre-left party core led by PM contender Marjan Šarec (leader of the eponymous election runner-up LMŠ party), The Left became the presumptive coalition partner in Šarec's efforts to attain a parliamentary majority.[29] The Left's insistence on a NATO membership referendum was widely regarded as a deal-breaker for the more atlanticist coalition core parties.[30][31] Shortly after NSi's departure from coalition negotiations, however, The Left announced that it will not demand that a commitment to a NATO referendum be included in the coalition agreement.[31][32] Two days after Šarec was nominated for PM by the five-party group on August 8,[33] The Left vowed support for his candidacy.[34] Šarec was thus confirmed as the ninth PM on August 17,[35] ending the longest political stalemate in the nation's history[33] while also forming the country's first minority government due to The Left's decision not to formally enter the governing coalition.[36]

Electoral results

Parliament of Slovenia
Year Popular vote % of popular vote Overall seats won Seat change Government
2018 83,108 9.33%
9 / 90
9 External support (2018-19)
Opposition (since 2019)

See also


  1. Nordsieck, Wolfram (2018). "Slovenia". Parties and Elections in Europe. Retrieved 30 August 2018.
  2. "Party Encyclopedia & Polling Averages: Slovenia". Europe Elects.
  3. "Slovenia: Anti-migrant party gains highlight 'Orban's soft power'". 4 July 2019. Meanwhile, the centre-left Social Democrats earned 10 percent, the centrist Moderate Centre Party 9.75 percent and the left-wing Levica party nine percent.
  4. "Slovenian MPs pass ten percent minimum wage rise". FRANCE 24. 13 December 2018. In 2020, the rate will increase to 700 euros. In addition, some bonuses which are currently included as part of the minimum wage will be excluded, according to the bill presented to MPs by the left-wing Levica Party.
  5. "Refugee case could topple Slovenia government". EUobserver. 21 November 2017. Two of them, Jan Skoberne, from the left-wing SD party in the ruling coalition, and Mihe Kordis, an MP from the left-wing opposition Levica party, picketed Shamieh's home alongside local supporters and later took him to the parliament building to stop police from taking him away.
  6. "EU country briefing: Slovenia". EURACTIV. 19 March 2019. Other parties expected to win an MEP seat are the social democrat SD (9.9%) and left-wing Levica (7.8%).
  7. Zulianello, Mattia (2019). "Varieties of Populist Parties and Party Systems in Europe: From State-of-the-Art to the Application of a Novel Classification Scheme to 66 Parties in 33 Countries". Government and Opposition: 6.
  8. "STA: Merging of the Left marked by departures from IDS". Retrieved 2017-06-25.
  9. "Leftist Groups Form United Left to Join Forces in EU Election (in English)". The Slovenian Times. 1 March 2014. Retrieved 1 April 2014.
  10. "United Left to contest European elections (in Slovene)". The Daily. 1 March 2014. Retrieved 1 April 2014.
  11. User, Super. "4. skupina: civilnodružbena gibanja in posamezniki". (in Slovenian). Retrieved 2017-06-25.
  12. "Foto: Največja vseslovenska vstaja do zdaj. Protestiralo 20.000 ljudi". Prvi interaktivni multimedijski portal, MMC RTV Slovenija. Retrieved 2017-07-01.
  13. "Levice ni več, zato je tu nova levica". Retrieved 2017-07-01.
  14. "Violeta Tomić odslej na čelu stranke Trs". Retrieved 2017-07-05.
  15. "Mesec: Iz strahu pred desnico se sredina sama spreminja v desnico". Prvi interaktivni multimedijski portal, MMC RTV Slovenija. Retrieved 2017-06-26.
  16. "Od Združene levice ostala samo še Levica, Mesec prevzema vodenje" (in Slovenian). Retrieved 2017-06-26.
  17. "Matjaž Hanžek zapušča poslansko skupino Levice | Dnevnik". Retrieved 2017-07-05.
  18. "Združena levica s podpisi za preiskavo o odgovornosti politike pri Teš 6" (in Slovenian). Retrieved 2017-07-12.
  19. "Hanžek: Sooner or later a connection will be unveiled between affairs and politics :: Prvi interaktivni multimedijski portal, MMC RTV Slovenija". Retrieved 2017-07-12.
  20. "IDS in TRS se bosta v kratkem zlili v eno stranko – ZL". Retrieved 2017-07-05.
  21. "Matjaž Hanžek ostaja predsednik stranke TRS". Retrieved 2017-07-05.
  22. "Skupna pot Združene levice misija nemogoče | Dnevnik". Retrieved 2017-07-05.
  23. "Delavci Levice nezadovoljni, Mesec obljublja zvišanje plač". Dnevnik. Retrieved 2018-06-24.
  24. "Raj za peščico poslancev, izkoriščanje za strokovce". (in Slovenian). Retrieved 2018-06-24.
  25. d.o.o., SRC. "". Retrieved 2018-07-23. External link in |title= (help)
  26. "Ni več Gorenaka, Erjavca, vrača se Jelinčič ... in ostalo o novem sklicu DZ-ja". Grem Volit (in Slovenian). Retrieved 2018-07-23.
  27. "Nataša Sukič". (in Slovenian). Retrieved 2018-07-23.
  28. "Prva razkrita LGBTQ+ oseba v slovenskem parlamentu |". Retrieved 2018-07-23.
  29. "Šarec nadaljuje pogajanja: po umiku NSi v igri Levica" (in Slovenian). Retrieved 2018-07-23.
  30. "Je koalicija z Levico sploh mogoča?" (in Slovenian). Retrieved 2018-07-23.
  31. "V Levici so se pripravljeni pogajati, a pričakujejo bistveno drugačno koalicijsko pogodbo". Prvi interaktivni multimedijski portal, MMC RTV Slovenija. Retrieved 2018-07-23.
  32. "Levica še brez vabila Šarčeve koalicije, ne bi pa več vztrajala pri Natu". Časnik Večer d.o.o. (in Slovenian). Retrieved 2018-07-23.
  33. "Slovenia's center-left coalition nominates Marjan Sarec for PM". Reuters. 2018-08-08. Retrieved 2019-02-02.
  34. "The Left to provide votes for Šarec to become PM-designate". Radio Si (in Slovenian). Retrieved 2019-02-02.
  35. Dallison, Paul (2018-08-17). "Slovenian lawmakers back new government". POLITICO. Retrieved 2019-02-02.
  36. "Lawmakers back Slovenia's first minority cabinet". Reuters. 2018-09-13. Retrieved 2019-02-02.
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