The Slovenia Times

Maribor Mayor to Finally Resign


Two days after a second violent demonstration in less than 10 days rocked Maribor, Kangler is quoted by the station as saying that he liked the people of Maribor too much to see them suffer more violence.

He rejected that his resignation was related to a discussion he had with Prime Minister Janez Janša on Tuesday and added that, in addition to the people of Maribor, he also wanted to protect the police, his family and coworkers.

Despite the demonstrations against him, which have grown into a nation-wide show of disillusionment with political elites in the past ten days, Kangler still believes that he enjoys the support of a majority of Mariborians, according to the report.

Convinced that he is opposed by only a few people who are after his position, Kangler said he expected that the steady stream of criminal complaints against him would stop once he left office, POP TV added.

Kangler, who served three consecutive four-year terms as MP starting in 1996, was first elected Maribor mayor in 2006 and won reelection in the first round of local elections four years later.

His term in office has been marked by efforts to reinvent the city which was struck by the collapse of industry following Slovenia's transition to a market economy in the 1990s and his style of doing business which have earned him the nickname "The Maribor Sheriff" among some people.

Holding a stellar majority in the city council, he pushed through a number of projects, including the hosting of this year's European Capital of Culture, but his dealings have also become a target of several ongoing investigations over alleged abuse of office and corruption.

Last year the Court of Audit found a long list of irregularities in the municipality's income, spending and borrowing, including in a EUR 12.2m private-partnership for the construction of a new cable lift to the Pohorje hill overlooking Maribor.

The cable car contract and several other construction deals have also been investigated by police, who briefly detained Kangler, along with a number of other municipality officials and construction bosses, in May 2011.

The protests against Kangler began almost a month ago following mounting anger over a public-private partnership the mayor struck to install 30 speed traps across Maribor.

While Kangler maintained the speed traps would improve road safety, questions arose about the large share the private partner was to get from the collected speeding fines.

Late last week Slovenia's Corruption Prevention Commission said it would seek for the deal to be nullified.


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