The Slovenia Times

Aleksandra Pivec resigns as Pensioners' Party (DeSUS) leader


Ljubljana - Pensioners' Party (DeSUS) leader Aleksandra Pivec resigned on Thursday, after previously vowing to fight efforts by the party's council to unseat her. She announced, however, that she would run for chairmanship again when the party holds an election congress given that she has "strong grassroots support".

Pivec, agriculture minister in Janez Janša's government and one of the deputy prime ministers, offered her resignation to the party's executive committee just before the council, a more senior body, was scheduled to vote on her dismissal following weeks of infighting. The executive committee accepted her resignation.

In a letter to the party members on Tuesday, Pivec said she would carry on. Today, she said she realised a solution that would be legally clean was not in sight. "When I realised this would not be the case, I decided to stop this by resigning."

Pivec has long insisted the council does not have the power to dismiss party leader, arguing that she was elected with an overwhelming majority at the January congress, where she defeated Karl Erjavec in a 143:80 vote, and that only the congress had a say over her fate.

After the party's own committee for legal issues decided the council does indeed have the power to dismiss the party leader, she initially indicated she would challenge the decision in court.

Pivec remains convinced that the party "bypassed all legal standards" and claims she is the victim of "a coup of sorts". DeSUS deserves a better future, regardless of who the president is, she said.

"I think there have been more than enough divisions in the party... We have forgotten about the dignity of individuals and the entire party, this is why I do not wish to debate in public about who's to blame and what went on behind the scenes."

As to her role in government, Pivec said her presidency had nothing to do with her ministerial role. "If a new president is elected at the congress, the time will come for debates on who will be the deputy prime minister."

Pivec has come under fire in her own party for mixing official and private business on two trips to western Slovenia. The Commission for the Prevention of Corruption has launched an ethics investigation.

The party will be led by Tomaž Gantar, the health minister, until the election congress. Gantar, one of the harshest critics of Pivec's conduct, stepped down as chair of the council to act as interim leader, spokesman Janez Ujčič revealed.


More from Politics