The Slovenia Times

Zoran Janković Against PM Bratušek, Political Crisis on the Way?



"I expect that [the party] will have the prime minister, the mayor of the capital and either a female of male party president" after the congress, said Janković, adding that the PS executive committee, which is expected to meet tomorrow, was thinking about postponing the congress.

He said the decision to stand for president was not easy, adding that he would explain at the congress why he decided to run for president of the party he established in 2011 just before the early election.

As the founder and the first president of the PS Janković is said to continue to enjoy broad support in the party and could win a contest with Bratušek.

This could spell the end of the ruling coalition, which was formed in March on condition of Janković's full withdrawal from the top party job after he "froze" his status as PS president and Bratušek took over as interim leader in January.

He stepped down because the Social Democrats (SD), the Citizens' List (DL) and the Pensioners' Party (DL) refused to form a coalition with the PS with Janković as president after the Corruption Prevention Commission found he violated corruption law.

He said today he did not expect any political consequences from his decision, wondering why there should be any consequences. Every party is independent and decides by itself about its work and leadership, he said.

However, a potential political crisis might harm Slovenia, as the country is under the watchful of eye of Brussels with the European Commission requiring fiscal consolidation and bank restructuring to reduce excessive deficit. Political stability is one of the key factors for Slovenia's success, Brussels has said.

Apart from Janković and Bratušek, ten people have been nominated for party president and they have until midnight today to confirm their candidacies. The names of the ten candidates are not known.

Candidates may however withdraw their candidacy on the day of the congress. It is being speculated that Bratušek might do this because after she indicated some time ago that she could withdraw if Janković decided to stand for party president.

Janković established PS in 2011 after he was urged to enter politics by a number of respected Slovenians. Among them was the speaker of Slovenia's first democratically elected parliament France Bučar, who said today that he could not judge Janković's decision.

Bučar said there were several arguments in favour of such a decision and many against. "An argument in favour is that this situation cannot continue" but "if we move things along everything can fall apart".

When asked whether he still supported Janković, Bučar said he did not support Janković two years ago but his concept.

Former Constitutional Court judge Lojze Ude refused to comment on the announcement, saying that he was not a member of the PS. Ude believes Janković is a good mayor of Ljubljana but could not say how he would do in national politics.

Poet Svetlana Makarovič said she could not see particular damage if the government coalition fell apart. "I do not have a good opinion about this government. However, my opinion on the opposition is even worse."

Makarovič believes that the only bad side to Janković potentially becoming prime minister would be him giving up the job of Ljubljana mayor.


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