Ljubljana – The election congress of the Pensioners’ Party (DeSUS) will be held between 20 November and 5 December and will see the junior coalition party’s new president selected through ballots cast by mail, the DeSUS council decided on Friday.
The mail vote on the president and vice-presidents will take place between 27 November and 1 December, with the results expected to be declared on 5 December, the council’s chair Anton Urh told the STA.
Before that the 231 delegates will have the chance to expand the agenda of the congress and propose potential additional candidates. The ballots will be sent to the delegates on 26 November.
There are presently ten candidate for vice-presidential posts, while Karl Erjavec and Srečko Felix Krope are vying for the top post.
Erjavec, who led DeSUS from May 2005 until January 2020 when he was somewhat surprisingly beaten at an election congress by the then Agriculture Minister Aleksandra Pivec, is considered the favourite.
DeSUS is looking for a president again after Pivec lost the trust of the deputy group and the top bodies following two controversial semi-private trips around Slovenia as agriculture minister. Pivec, under whose leadership DeSUS joined the Janez Janša-led coalition in March, resigned as party leader and as minister just before parliament was to vote on her dismissal.
Even though Erjavec has not yet been elected and Health Minster Tomaž Gantar is still serving as interim leader, Erjavec has attracted a lot of limelight in recent days, as DeSUS is being solicited by the newly formed alliance of four left-leaning opposition parities that is led by economist Jože P. Damijan. Erjavec met both Damijan and Janša this week.