The Slovenia Times

DeSUS leader Erjavec announces resignation


Ljubljana - Karl Erjavec, the leader of the Pensioners' Party (DeSUS), announced on Wednesday he was stepping down as president. He is no longer a member of the party either, saying that this was no longer the party he led for 15 years.

The resignation marks the end of a short-lived return, Erjavec having been ousted as party leader by Aleksandra Pivec in early 2020, only to return towards the end of the year after Pivec became embroiled in an ethics scandal.

"You know I was urged to return as president last year... I took on the task mainly to consolidate the party, to salvage it. But the latest events have shown that the party is so split it cannot be salvaged," Erjavec said today.

The statement comes after a session of the party's council, which was supposed to debate the future course of DeSUS after Erjavec spearheaded a failed bid to unseat Prime Minister Janez Janša.

Speculation had been rife that he may call it quits, in particular after it was revealed he had taken a corporate job at telecoms equipment maker Iskratel, where he will advise the CEO on expansion to foreign markets.

Erjavec has had problems in particular with his deputy group, a portion of which refused to back the motion of no confidence in the Janša government.

"There was no courage among the four MPs to back me up and clearly say they support their party president for prime-minister designate," Erjavec said.

He also suggested some MPs had ulterior motives. "Some appear to be more interested in posts than the future of the party," he said in reference to committee seats some MPs may lose now that the party is in the opposition.

After the failed vote, some MPs wanted to align themselves with the government even though DeSUS left the governing coalition in December. It was eventually decided the party would play a constructive role in the opposition, a decision affirmed by the council today.

Until a new fully-fledged leadership is elected, the party will be headed by Anton Balažek, one of the two vice-presidents.

Balažek, who was backed in a 23:13 vote, said he would try to find points of common interest that would strengthen the party, and to avoid unnecessary conflict.

In line with the party's rules of procedure, the new leadership will be elected within a year.


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