Novak announced her decision at a party council meeting, where she also thanked her colleagues for the many years of support. "There are many parties, but we are the only Christian democrats. I wish for you to take this party forward into new stories," said Novak announcing her resignation. The NSi council then appointed Matej Tonin to serve as the party’s acting president. Novak said that Tonin was a capable and honest person and that she was convinced that "a new team would bring new energy". According to the NSi, before handing in her resignation, Ljudmila Novak also thanked Matej Tonin for accepting the responsibility to take the party forward.
In his speech, Tonin thanked Novak for all her work. "You trusted us, the young ones; you gave us an opportunity and allowed us to work. You also managed to connect New Slovenia into a strong party," said Tonin and added that Novak achieved something that no one has ever been able to – to bring a party back into parliament. Tonin promised to remain faithful to the values of Christian democracy. “As always I will advocate for a social market economy, a better business environment and more accessible healthcare. I also wish to modernize the party and put an emphasis on the digitalization of Slovenia, our attitude towards nature and healthy lifestyle,” added Tonin.
Tonin picked Marija Rogar and Valentin Hajdinjak to be his vice-presidents. The party’s secretary general will remain to be Robert Ilc, while Matjaž Trontelj will continue to be the party council chairman. The head of the NSi deputy group will now be Jožef Horvat, while Federico Victor Potočnik will become the party’s international secretary.
A decade at the helm of NSi
Ljudmila Novak took over the NSi party following the 2008 parliamentary elections when the party failed to make it into parliament. The election result triggered the resignation of the then president Andrej Bajuk. Under Novak’s presidency the party returned to parliament following the 2011 snap elections. Novak also served as vice-president of the National Assembly.
Last year, as a candidate of her own NSi party, Novak also ran in the presidential race and out of the nine candidates finished fourth in the first round of voting, winning 7,2% of the vote.