Coverage of ‘May 2014 Declaration’ Rally in Ljubljana, Conservative Gathering Denouncing Country’s ‘Unfinished’ Transition to Democracy
An estimated 3,000 people gathered in the Slovenian capital of Ljubljana on Sunday in support of the so-called May Declaration 2014, a document that brings attention to what supporters denounce as the country’s ‘unfinished’ transition to democracy. I covered the event and filed a dozen photos for the Demotix news service which you can view here.
Since the Demotix gallery didn’t include a report and very little coverage is available in English, a bit of background:
Signed by about three dozen mostly right-wing and conservative groups this month, the declaration calls for a Slovenia based on human rights, the rule of law and one purged of the remnants of past totalitarian regimes. The name references the May Declaration of 1989 which demanded the independence of Slovenia from Yugoslavia.
The gathering held in Ljubljana’s central Prešeren Square was largely a rally in support of former Prime Minister Janez Janša, who was the keynote speaker at the event, and a loose coalition of conservative and center-right parties on the eve of next Sunday’s European Parliamentary elections.
Janša served as Prime Minister from 2004 to 2008 and again from January 2012 to February 2013 when he was ousted in a no-confidence vote in the wake of weeks of nationwide protests.
In 2013 Janša was found guilty on corruption charges stemming from a 2006 arms purchase and sentenced to two years in prison. Last month Slovenia’s high court rejected his appeal and upheld the ruling which Janša and his supporters dismiss as politically motivated. The Slovenian Press Agency (STA) reported that his lawyers lodged an appeal to the Constitutional Court on 9 May.
Other speakers at the rally included Christian Democrat Lozje Peterle, an MP in the European Parliament; Mikuláš Dzurinda, a former Prime Minister of Slovakia; and Joseph Daul, the president of the European People’s Party (EPP) who was in Slovenia as part of a tour to garner support for EPP-affilated parties for next week’s European Parliamentary elections. The Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS), which Janša leads, is a member of the EPP.