The Slovenia Times

New Leader Of The Opposition


Bratušek was also put in charge of leading talks on a potential new ruling coalition in the wake of a graft report that found Prime Minister Janez Janša and PS leader Zoran Janković in breach of integrity legislation.

Asked to what extent she would run the party independently of Ljubljana Mayor Zoran Janković, who suspended his leadership in the aftermath of the report, Bratušek said that Janković had made it clear that he was withdrawing from politics at the national level and would not get involved in party discussions.

Bratušek, who was also appointed president of the party council to replace Vasja Butina, will be assisted in running the party's affairs by a college comprising party vice-presidents Robert Golob, Maša Kociper and Melita Župevc, secretary general Vasja Butina and head of the PS deputy group Jani Möderndorfer.

Commenting on the political deadlock in the country, Bratušek said alternatives existed so the party would continue to seek them. "This is what I and we as a party must do for the benefit of all citizens," she said.

Bratušek sees Janković's suspension and her appointment today as a sign that the party was capable of "making a step backwards". She also believes the move "opened the door to alternative options and solutions".

The alternatives certainly did not include the incumbent government, Brutušek said. "The precondition for any talks and agreement is that the current coalition no longer exists and that the current government no longer has a majority in parliament. Until this is established, talks are more or less pointless."

The new PS leader denied reports that three coalition partners met with the two opposition parties today for informal talks about a new coalition.

Asked whether she thought Janša would step down, Bratušek said the answer was only known to him. When quizzed whether Janković should resign as Ljubljana mayor, she said "this wasn't a matter for the PS council... This is a decision Zoran Janković will have to take himself."

Commenting on the party's low voter approval ratings, Bratušek said the party never did anything for the sake of public opinion polls. "The same way as we are not doing what we are doing now for the sake of opinion polls."


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