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Monday, December 5, 2022

Jelka Godec: The demonisation of SDS led to physical violence

By: C. R.

It is time for the threats, attacks, and calls to violence, not only to SDS representatives, but to everyone else, to end.

After a physical attack on a member of the Slovenian Democratic Party, Branko Grims, which took place in front of the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia on Friday, October 28th, 2022, we in the SDS Parliamentary Group have already initiated certain initiatives and demands within the scope of our powers, which were presented at today’s press conference by the leader of the SDS Parliamentary Group Jelka Godec.

“After the event, I immediately asked the Secretary General of the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia to secure all the footage recorded by the security cameras in the vicinity of the National Assembly and to actively cooperate with the law enforcement authorities,” emphasised the leader of the SDS parliamentary group at the outset. This call was followed by a request to ensure the protection of MPs on the way from individual parking spaces to entering the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia and vice versa, as well as an initiative and request for the convocation of the College of the President of the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia, which would outline decisive steps to ensure both the safety of MPs and the safety of employees of the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia. All letters are available here.

We have already received a response from the President of the National Assembly to the request to ensure security for male and female members of parliament on the way from individual parking spaces to entering the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia and vice versa. She said that she regretted the attack on our colleague Grims, that she supported the security proposal and that we would discuss it after the holidays. “In the SDS Parliamentary Group, we believe that this should be done immediately. Despite the holidays, the incident that happened to colleague Grims is of such a nature that it is necessary to react immediately,” emphasised Jelka Godec.

In the SDS parliamentary group, we have therefore already submitted a request today to convene an emergency meeting of the Committee for Internal Affairs, Public Administration and Local Self-Government, at which we would discuss measures due to planned escalation of hostility, incitement of violence and attacks against individuals based on their values, beliefs, or world view. The full request is available here.

“We have been enduring threats and attacks on the Slovenian Democratic Party and its members for years and years. MPs receive various letters, business cards with threats, phone calls. Last but not least, in the last two years, these organised but unannounced protests gave greater incentives to individuals to attack our MPs as well as SDS members,” said Jelka Godec and reminded that elected officials of some parties also took part in the protests and gave them legitimacy to these appeals.

“During this term, after every session of the National Assembly, when we leave the National Assembly and go across the street, we are met by three or four men who constantly insult us, threaten us with violence, some even with death. The unresponsiveness of the authorities here is questionable,” the head of the parliamentary group pointed out, adding that as SDS MPs, they experience demonisation and pogroms, which she believes are all incitement to violence.

“In SDS, we believe that these calls to violence should end, regardless of who it is, regardless of whether it is an SDS MP or NSi MP or Gibanje Svoboda MP or any other parliamentary group. That is why I called on all MPs on Friday to stand together and express our support for our colleague Grims and support for all of us. To say that there is enough violence in society, violence against any citizen in the Republic of Slovenia. Unfortunately, I have to say that no one responded to this initiative, however, in the SDS Parliamentary Group, we still hope that there will be a response as soon as possible after this event, including from the President of the National Assembly,” concluded Jelka Godec.

To a journalist’s question about the “dark forces”, as the Slovenian Democratic Party has recently been characterised by prominent representatives of the political left, for example the prime minister and the mayor of Ljubljana, the head of the SDS parliamentary group replied: “The demonisation and blackening of SDS members and elected officials has already been going on for more years. Calls for the death of the president of our party, the death of certain members of parliament, have been happening for a long time. And they only escalate. This needs to be put to an end. All this encourages hatred towards us, who have a different opinion from those protesting on Republic Square or colleagues from other parliamentary groups.”

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