SAB membership soars, as DeSUS members defect

Ljubljana – Members of several local committees of the Pensioners’ Party (DeSUS) have defected to join the opposition Alenka Bratušek Party (SAB), SAB leader Alenka Bratušek told the press on Thursday. She sees this as a recognition that her party is doing a good job.

The SAB was joined by 250 new members, mostly from the DeSUS committees in Velenje, Kočevje, Šoštanj, Brezovica and Logatec.

One of the reasons for their decision is reportedly the SAB’s sensitivity to the problems of pensioners.

Bratušek said at today’s press conference that the party was proud and happy to welcome new members, whose only demand is for SAB not to forget about pensioners and the elderly.

Bratušek said this demand would be met, so apart from setting up new local committees, the SAB has also decided to set up the “strongest and most numerous senior citizens’ organisation among political parties in Slovenia”.

“Our plan and goal is to get among top five political parties with the strongest network on the ground and a clear social and liberal programme,” Bratušek said.

According to the head of the SAB Velenje committee, Darinka Mravljak, the party has been openly and consistently promoting the goals of pensioners in parliament. Representing the pensioners, the disabled and other vulnerable groups is one of SAB’s priorities, she said.

Mravljak said one of the reasons the DeSUS members had left their party was that DeSUS “has not been representing pensioners or their interests for a long time”. “In the last couple of years, we have seen the party fall apart at all levels,” she said.

During that time, the party has changed four party heads and deputy heads, but the biggest mistake of the DeSUS leadership was that it did not devote any attention to the members, work on the ground, committees and the people, she said.

Among those defecting DeSUS are also former MPs Antonija Marija Kovačič and Marinka Levičar.