The Slovenia Times

Ljubljana Mayor to Race for Parliament


Jankovic, who made his name as the chairman of Slovenia's biggest grocer before becoming Ljubljana mayor in 2006, told reporters that he did not see himself in parliament.

"My character and my life have always been an executive position," Jankovic, 58, said, adding that the results of his work had been visible both in Ljubljana and in Mercator.

He named two options for his participation in the election: one is for him to keep the mayoral post and not stand for MP, but then bid for PM-designate if his list wins majority.

The other option is for him to stand as the first on his list thus taking the risk of loosing office as mayor without becoming PM-designate.

Jankovic has already decided what to do, but he said he had time until 9 November to make his decision known.

A law adopted in May this year made the mayoral post incompatible with the post of deputy at the National Assembly. A mayor standing for MP loses office as soon as he or she is elected.

Jankovic will enter the race for parliament with a party that he said would be open to everyone. His team would like to restore values, optimism and positivism. "We are ready to work hard for the benefit of all citizens".

Until 9 November when the parties and lists bidding for parliament are to be made known, Jankovic's team will look for proposals of candidates people trust and for platforms that could be good for the whole country.

"We are open to suggestions, we'll examine each one of them," Jankovic said, adding that he was happy he had been backed in his decision by his wife, both deputy mayors and many from the city administration.

The party will go to the polls in order to win, but the decision will be up to citizens. "The question is whether the citizens decide for a different way of work and life in the country."

Jankovic does not know yet how the party will be named, but reckons there is enough time to found it. He deems it important that he has given himself "at disposal", while it is not his problem whether the authorities will register the party on time.

The mayor would not comment on whether he may build a coalition with a party ahead of the election, but he ruled out the possibility of cooperation with Janez Jansa, the leader of the opposition Democrats (SDS).

He has no intention of making "any such rotten compromises" whatsoever. Even if he was a potential PM-designate and he was to be "forced into something, I'll rather say 'no' and leave the opportunity to others".

Asked about his potential cooperation with the outgoing PM Borut Pahor, Jankovic said that he had done enough for this government and that he publicly endorsed the coalition trio (SD, Zares and LDS) ahead of the last election.

He meanwhile said that it would become clear after the election whether his party would cooperate with any other party.

The platform for the election has not been outlined yet, but the groundwork is clear: "The country needs to be competitive... The state also needs to show solidarity and respect for every citizen."

He believes the tasks ahead are to cut down on the number of government departments, reduce the headcount in the public administration and implement reforms, including of the pension system.

If he becomes the prime minister, the style of work will be similar to what he had demonstrated in Mercator and Ljubljana, Jankovic said in Congress Square, where some 400 people gathered to support him.

His announcement comes a day after a group of eminent figures including Slovenia's first president and parliamentary speaker, Milan Kucan and France Bucar, publicly called on him to stand in the general election.

Jankovic is seen as the only serious rival to opposition leader Janez Jansa for the post of PM and a potential trump for the left after polls have been showing bitter losses for left-leaning parties.

Jankovic won 63% of the vote in the 2006 mayoral election in Ljubljana, while his list won 23 seats in the 45-strong city council. Last year he was reelected with 65% of the vote and his list won an absolute majority of 25 seats.


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