DeSUS leader says he has mandate to seek political alliances

Ljubljana – The Pensioners’ Party (DeSUS) appears to have had another chaotic session of the party council after which DeSUS leader Ljubo Jasnič told reporters he was given the mandate for talks on potential cooperation with other political parties in the April general election.

Jasnič spoke to reporters after the council chairman stepped down and the party’s three MPs announced they were distancing themselves from the actions of the party leadership at today’s session.

“I needed the mandate to dispel any doubt within the party that I’m doing anything of my own accord. I’m not doing that, I have this far talked with many but unofficially, now I’ll start talks officially as well,” said Jasnič.

For the time being he believes best chances are for partnership with the non-affiliated MPs, a group comprising deputies who have quit the coalition Modern Centre Party (SMC) as well as one former DeSUS deputy.

He will thus first conduct talks with the group and give an ear to their ambitions and their willingness to run together in the election.

It will be the party executive committee and council which will decide on potential alliances based on talks, although Jasnič said the executive committee’s position for the time being was that DeSUS should stand in the election on its own.

They will also draw up their own platform, which Jasnič said was to be presented to the public in January. He said given its membership the party’s position was left of the centre.

Earlier, DeSUS MPs Franc Jurša, Ivan Hršak and Branko Simonovič said they were distancing themselves from the actions of the party leadership at today’s council session.

Jasnič said he was not surprised considering they had long distanced themselves from the party.

The MPs have been at odds with the party leadership because they have been voting in favour of the ruling coalition’s proposals in parliament contrary to the party’s wishes.

Anton Urh confirmed for the newspaper Večer that he had stepped down as the head of the party council today. Janič confirmed that Srečko Felix Krope had taken over from him.

Unofficial information suggests party members bickering over topical issues again. Urh said they also took issue with the way he run sessions where Jasnič failed to protect him, which Jasnič denied.

He said all members of the party council from the Gorenjska region had left the session along with him. “The chairmanship was then taken over by Emil Kumer, who was called ‘idiot’. Mr Kumer then stepped down as well,” Urh told Večer.