Slovenian PM hangs on at helm of minority government

LJUBLJANA Thu Jan 24, 2013 8:37am EST

Slovenia's Prime Minister Janez Jansa arrives at the European Union (EU) council headquarters for an EU leaders summit discussing the EU's long-term budget in Brussels November 23, 2012. REUTERS/Eric Vidal

Slovenia's Prime Minister Janez Jansa arrives at the European Union (EU) council headquarters for an EU leaders summit discussing the EU's long-term budget in Brussels November 23, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Eric Vidal

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LJUBLJANA (Reuters) - Slovenia's prime minister, abandoned by a junior member of his coalition, pledged on Thursday to remain at the helm of a minority government and seek support for reforms vital to stabilizing the euro zone member's finances.

Janez Jansa's government was stripped of its parliamentary majority on Wednesday after the Civic List party, one of five members of the ruling coalition, quit over the prime minister's refusal to resign in a corruption scandal.

The walkout raised the prospect of a second snap election in little over a year and dealt a fresh blow to Slovenia's efforts to avoid becoming the latest member of the crisis-hit euro zone to seek a bailout.

"An early election would push Slovenia into limbo for several months and ... Slovenia would go bankrupt in that time," Jansa told a news conference.

His conservative government now holds 41 seats in the 90-seat parliament but two other members of the coalition have threatened to quit unless Jansa resigns over findings by an anti-corruption commission that he had failed to explain the source of part of his income.

Jansa did not rule out the possibility of an early election, but only after adoption of the main reforms deemed vital to the Alpine ex-Yugoslav republic avoiding a bailout.

He also said an election could only take place following a deal between political parties to change the electoral system to give more weight to the winning party.

(Reporting by Marja Novak; Editing by Matt Robinson and Andrew Heavens)

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