The Slovenia Times

Analysts think Pivec will have to go


Čakš, editor-in-chief of the web portal Domovina, thinks DeSUS, whose head has been under severe media pressure lately and which is losing support in polls, is now dealing with the question of survival.

"The deputy group and the head of the party council, Tomaž Gantar, have estimated that they and the party have better chances for survival in the political arena without Pivec than with her. A part of the leadership around Pivec begs to differ, so the dispute has escalated in public so much," Čakš told the STA on Tuesday.

He believes that what is happening to Pivec is very much related to the media dispute between the Janez Janša government and the mainstream media.

Both Čakš and Andraž Zorko from pollster Valicon think Pivec will have a hard time staying on as party head and minister.

But Čakš thinks she could possibly stay minister if an agreement is reached that tensions within DeSUS would not affect its work in the coalition. But Prime Minister Janša will probably have the main say.

In contrast, Zorko thinks Pivec cannot keep her ministerial post after facing criticism of abuse of office.

However, he believes she has lost trust of DeSUS MPs and a part of its members not so much because of her actions but rather because of her response to the whole situation. "An experienced politician would solve this in 24 hours, whereas she went on holiday instead," Zorko told the STA.

Pribac, an associate professor at the Faculty of Arts, too pointed to the importance of appearance in politics.

"Pivec was not aware of this enough. It was not so much her actions but the way she publicly presented them what has caused irreparable damage to her public image. In that respect, she is politically worn out," he said.

According to Čakš, DeSUS has found itself in an unenviable situation, with its public ratings dropping, and losing a potentially positive figure prematurely.

The party will now face a dilemma of whether to stay in the Janša government under a new boss too or try its luck in an early election. But he thinks it will decide for the former, as the latter option would be very risky.

Zorko agrees DeSUS is in a very tough spot, losing support in recent years. He believes the first shot in the knee was former party leader Karl Erjavec's founding of a kind of left-leaning bloc before the least election, while the events around Pivec are "shooting in the other knee".

Zorko thinks DeSUS cannot survive with Pivec and will have a hard time surviving without her. "The party with the longest career in government has found itself on the verge of survival."

The party could potentially be saved by a long-term reputable member who would restore balance between the left- and right-leaning blocs in the party, Zorko said, pointing to Health Minister Gantar as the "first logical" choice.

"But the base has been split and the trust is gone", so this will be no easy task, he added. Moreover, several other parties are now also addressing pensioners, most notably the Alenka Bratušek Party (SAB), the Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ) and the Social Democrats (SD).

Pribac thinks Pivec's actions are reason enough for the public's discontent, but this is being stepped up because of the public's discontent with government moves. So Pivec's claiming that she enjoys Janša's support is probably doing her more harm than good.

However, a potential change at the helm of DeSUS will not necessarily mean the party will leave the coalition. But if Pivec is replaced, DeSUS leaving the government could be an option if sufficient majority is formed for a technical government that would lead the country until the next election.

Pribac expects Janša to leave all decisions to DeSUS and that the party itself will demand she be also recalled as minister. Pribac too sees Gantar or Erjavec as the only two possible Pivec's successors.


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