Parliamentary Elections

April 24, 2022


  • Incomplete bicameral parliament in a parliamentary republic: National Assembly (90 seats) and National Council (40 seats). The National Assembly is the main legislative body of Slovenia, whereas the National Council serves primarily as an advisory body representing different interest groups.
  • National Assembly are elected through universal, direct elections every 4 years. There is a 4% voting threshold to enter parliament.
  • 88 members of the National Assembly are elected through an open-list proportional system; 2 representatives are elected separately to represent the Italian and Hungarian minorities in the country.
  • Current government coalition: Centre-right minority government led by incumbent Prime Minister Janez Janša.


  • 22 political parties running.
  • Main parties:
    • Slovenian Democratic Party(SDS): led by Prime Minister Janša; right-wing; nationalist; populist; socially conservative. SDS was the leading party in 2004 when Slovenia joined the EU and NATO, but in recent years Prime Minister Janša has expressed discontent with the European Union.
    • Freedom Movement (GS): new party led by Robert Golob; main oppositeion contender; center-left; focus on green and social welfare policies.
    • Social Democrats(SD): led by MEP Tanja Fajon; center-left; Pro-EU;
    • The Left (CDA): left-wing; Anti-NATO; light euroscepticism.
    • New Slovenia (NSi): center-right; Christian democrat. NSi is part of the current government coalition..
    • Marjan Šarec List(LMŠ): centrist; liberal; populist. Party leader Marjan Šarec was the Prime Minister of Slovenia until his resignation in 2020.

Impact on U.S. Interests

  • Slovenia has been a member of NATO since 2004. Defence spending is around 1.3% of the GDP. Slovenia hosts the NATO Mountain Warfare Centre of Excellence and has contributed troops to Afghanistan, Kosovo, and Bosnia-Herzgovina. Slovenia also lends troops to a multinational battalion group in Latvia under NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence (EFP)
  • Prime Minister Jansa has presided over a concerning erosion in freedom of the media and the rule of law in Slovenia, even going so far as to suspend funding for the country’s public news agency in 2021 over coverage he deemed too critical of his government. The international watchdog organization Freedom House noted in its 2022 Nations in Transit report that while Slovenia is still considered a consolidated democracy (unlike illiberal neighbor Hungary), Slovenia experienced the most severe democratic decline of any country in Europe last year.
  • Slovenia has taken in 18,000 Ukrainian refugees so far and has expressed a willingness to take up to 200,000.

Key Issues to Watch

  • On the campaign trail, Jansa is attempting to capitalize on Slovenia’s strong economic performance following the Covid-19 pandemic and on his leadership during the Ukraine crisis. Like other Central and Eastern European countries, Slovenia has been vocal in its support of Ukraine since Russia’s invasion in February. Jansa personally traveled to Kiev in the early days of the invasion with the Prime Ministers of Poland and the Czech Republic and called for a fast track to EU membership for Ukraine; Slovenia has joined EU sanctions on Russia and vowed to wean itself off Russian energy.
  • Corruption and the rule of law are major issues in this election. Golob’s Freedom Party, which is tailing Jansa’s SDS by 1% in polls, has tried to present the election as an opportunity to prevent Slovenia from slipping further down the path of illiberalism.
  • Slovenia’s political landscape is marked by the presence of many small parties, which will play an outsize role in the coalition formation negotiations. Even in the case that SDS comes first in the polls on Sunday, Golob will try to unite enough centrist and leftist parties to form a majority in parliament.



Data Source: Politico Poll of Polls