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Bratušek, Slovenia’s first female prime minister, resigns


It’s been a busy season for politics in the Balkans this year — Croatia began the year for the first time as a member of the European Union, Serbia’s snap elections in March returned a resounding victory for Aleksandar Vučić and his center-right Progressives, protesters in Bosnia and Herzegovina are calling for new conditions to longtime economic and political stagnation, and Macedonia’s center-right government recently won a fourth consecutive term in power.slovenia

Now it’s Slovenia’s turn.

Alenka Bratušek, the country’s first female prime minister, resigned on Monday, calling into question whether the shaky Slovenian economy will avoid an international bailout that Bratušek worked to avoid in her 13-month government.

Bratušek’s resignation follows internal upheaval within her own party, Pozitivna Slovenija (Positive Slovenia), still a relatively new center-left political party. With voters fed up with the two dominant parties, Positive Slovenia burst onto the political scene in the most recent December 2011 parliamentary elections. It won the largest bloc of seats (28) in Slovenia’s 90-member, unicameral national assembly, the Državni zbor.

In the 29 months since the last election, Slovenia has now had both a center-right coalition government and a center-left coalition government, and both have fallen. That means that Slovenia likely faces snap elections this summer or early in the autumn, and Bratušek, 44, has suggested that she will form her a new party of her own to contest to them.

Bratušek (pictured above) was never the driving force within the party, however, whose founder is Zoran Janković, a former retail businessman who served as the mayor of Ljubljana, the Slovenian capital, from 2006 until 2011, and against since 2012 following his failure to become Slovenia’s prime minister.

Janković returned to the leadership of Positive Slovenia late last month after engineering a putsch ousting Bratušek as leader. That, in turn, unraveled the coalition that Bratušek built in February 2013.  Continue reading Bratušek, Slovenia’s first female prime minister, resigns