The Slovenia Times

Friday: D Day for PM Bratušek



The outcome of the vote seems uncertain, as Janković, who founded the party in October 2011 and took it to a victory at the general elections two months later, is still seen by many PS members as the party's father and as someone who would "implement the PS's programme to a greater extent".

Janković had failed to form a government after the surprising election victory in which the PS garnered as much as 28.5% of the vote, conceding to leader of the Democrats (SDS) Janez Janša. Both were however hit by a damning report of the Corruption Prevention Commission in January 2013.

Following the anti-graft watchdog's reports on assets held by parliamentary parties leaders which established that both Janković and Janša had failed to account for some of their assets, the SDS closed its ranks behind Janša although this meant a gradual collapse of the right-leaning coalition.

Janković meanwhile agreed to the demand of prospective new coalition parties to withdraw from the helm of the party, making room for Alenka Bratušek to take over without being elected at a congress and allowing a new PS-led government to be formed in March 2013 without an early election.

Janković says now that he had accepted "this fantasy game" mostly to put and end to "the fear mongering with the rule of Janez Janša".

Bratušek emerged as prime minister candidate out of relative political obscurity after no agreement was found on a leader of a "technical government".

The PS election congress, meant to secure a full-fledged PS president, was initially announced for October last year, but postponed by the party's leadership to avoid political instability as Janković already announced a comeback attempt then.

Janković's attempt to reclaim PS leadership comes as corruption allegations and investigations against him continue to mount.

The PS has never been able to erase the impression of having two leaders, which has recently also been acknowledged as a problem by Bratušek when some of PS MPs for instance ignored the party's line in the vote on the motion to oust Interior Minister Gregor Virant.

Dismissing warnings that his return could be suicidal for the PS and lead to a collapse of the government, Janković has been maintaining that there are no obstacles to Bratušek continuing to lead the government for the remainder of its term in 2015 even if he becomes PS president.

This possibility has however already been ruled out by Bratušek, as well as by most coalition partners, who maintain they would not want to be part of a ruling coalition with a party run by someone suspected of serious corruption.

A Janković victory would thereby most likely mean the third government collapse in four years and lead to an early election, the second one in a row following the 2011 vote.

While Janković, who is happy with Bratušek as PM while at the same time claiming the government is not doing enough to kick-start the economy, has only written a letter that explains his views, Bratušek has been touring the country in recent days, speaking to PS members, who all have the right to participate in the secret ballot at the congress.

Agreement is said to be wide in the party, which is believed to have around 2,500 members, that the PS had done a lot for the country under Bratušek's leadership, but commentators have noted that Janković's supporters might have simply ignored the meetings with the prime minister.


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