Alenka Bratusek elected as Slovenia's new PM

Source:Xinhua Published: 2013-2-28 9:10:57

The Slovenian National Assembly dismissed on Wednesday night the coalition government headed by Prime Minister Janez Jansa, and appointed simultaneously Alenka Bratusek as prime minister-designate.

Bratusek, 42, is the interim leader of Positive Slovenia (PS), the largest opposition party in parliament.

She was sworn in immediately. In her brief inaugural address, Bratusek vowed to focus efforts on restoring trust in the state, democracy and the rule of law.

"Slovenia cannot afford a continuation of the economic contraction and rising unemployment," Bratusek addressed parliament hours before she got prime minister appointment.

"Cutting spending will not in itself achieve economic growth ... not lead to deficit reduction," the woman financial expert told legislators.

Earlier in the day, the National Assembly also elected Janko Veber as parliament speaker, paying the way for the legislature to have a new cabinet led by a new prime minister.

Elected in a 52-34 vote, Veber succeeds Gregor Virant, who stepped down as speaker in January after his Citizens' List left the coalition government headed Jansa.

Jansa defended firmly his austerity policy during his term, and voiced grave concern over Bratusek's statement over the future economic measures. A supplementary budget that would erase austerity efforts would be repeating old mistakes, he said.

The outgoing prime minister also rejected criticism that his government had trampled social dialogue, saying that "all key solutions in this term were made after negotiations with the social partners."

Jansa and his cabinet will continue to perform caretaker duties until a new government is sworn in.

Bratusek will now have 15 days to propose a cabinet to the National Assembly, a deadline that can be extended once at her request.

Posted in: Europe

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