Crunch meeting calls for DeSUS MPs to resign

Slovenija, Ljubljana, 18.01.2020 18. januar 2020 Kongres stranke Desus, Demokratièna stranka upokojencev, politika, Karel Erjavec , Aleksandra Pivec Foto:Borut Živuloviæ/BOBO

Ljubljana – The Pensioners’ Party (DeSUS) held an in-camera meeting on Friday to discuss the relationship with the party’s MPs. Party leader Ljubo Jasnič said the meeting had proposed for the party council to call on the MPs to resign. If the council supports the call on Thursday but the MPs fail to heed it, Jasnič is not ruling out his resignation.

The party has been unable to find common ground with its MPs, who keep supporting the centre-right minority government even though the party quit the coalition led by Prime Minister Janez Janša in December last year. The row has resulted in the party changing its leadership several times since.

MPs Ivan Hršak and Branko Simonovič avoided the media after today’s meeting and the leader of the deputy faction, Franc Jurša, excused himself from the meeting altogether. The fourth member of the deputy group, Robert Polnar, was expelled from the party in December last year.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, DeSUS leader Jasnič said he would present his personal opinion on the proposal to call for the MPs resignation to the party council.

However, if the MPs fail to step down, Jasnič “will draw the conclusion that the party’s position is on the side of the MPs and I’ll have to talk with myself what next”.

Asked whether he would, should the party council not support the call, understand it as a vote of confidence in the MPs and consider his own fate, he said: “There will be nothing else for me to do.”

The call by the party council would not be binding on the MPs, but Jasnič said DeSUS would break off its contacts with the MPs if they failed to follow the party bodies’ decisions.

He admitted it would not be easy for the party if it parted ways with its MPs.

The meeting, which went on for six hours, also agreed the party was not supporting the government-sponsored bills on the demographic fund, healthcare and health insurance, and long-term care in the present form.