* Bratusek hoping for centre-left coalition
* Snap parliamentary election expected on July 13
* Centre-right opposition marked big win in EU elections
By Marja Novak
LJUBLJANA, May 31 Slovenia's Interim Prime
Minister Alenka Bratusek, who helped save the country from an
international bailout last year, announced the formation of a
new centre-left party on Saturday before a snap parliamentary
elections in July.
Slovenia was plunged into a political crisis earlier this
month when Bratusek resigned as prime minister, having lost a
leadership battle for the centre-left Positive Slovenia party.
She is still leading a caretaker government.
A euro zone member, Slovenia narrowly avoided having to be
bailed out in December by pumping some 3.3 billion euros of
budget funds into its mostly state-owned banks that were beset
by bad loans.
Her new party, the Alliance of Alenka Bratusek (ZAB), hopes
to form an informal coalition with other centre-left parties
before the election expected on July 13 so as to attract more
Last week, the centre-right opposition Slovenian Democratic
Party scored a landslide victory in the European Parliament
elections, winning 24.9 percent of the vote and 3 out of 8
Slovenian seats in the EU parliament.
"We are gathered here to find new energy for the necessary
changes in the country ... therefore I invite our allies to join
us," Bratusek told the founding congress of her party.
She said the party's aim was to create more jobs and give a
boost to the economy while perserving the environment and human
She also said the party will support privatisation but
warned against massive sell-offs.
"We will not privatise blindly but I will not give up
searching the necessary development capital for our companies,"
Last year her government earmarked 15 firms for
privatisation of which two have been sold. Others, including
telecoms operator Telekom Slovenia and the country's
second-largest bank Nova KBM are due to be sold by 2015.
Opinion polls compiled since the break-up of Bratusek's
previous party on April 26 started incorporating a hypothetical
new party founded by her into their research, finding that it
would gain between 1.6 and 12.2 percent of the vote.
Analysts said Bratusek's new party stood a good chance of
crossing the 4 percent threshold needed for parliament but that
centre-left parties would have to cooperate rather than compete
in the election if they wanted to form the next government.
"If the centre-left parties would manage to form a united
front they would have big chances at the election. But if they
remain fragmented, the centre-right parties would be in a better
position to win the election," said Tanja Staric, an analyst at
On Monday, popular law professor Miro Cerar will form
another new centre-left party. Bratusek has already said she is
willing to cooperate with his and other parties to prevent a
victory of the centre-right opposition after their European
Parliament win last week.
"Despite increasing fragmentation, the most likely scenario
for the early election outcome is still a leftist parliamentary
majority," said Otilia Dhand, Vice President of consultancy
"Anti-austerity leanings in the electorate and the likely
higher turnout will favor the left," she added.
Turnout in the European elections was only 24.1 percent and
is expected to be much higher in the parliamentary poll in July
at about 60 percent.
Bratusek's ex-party Positive Slovenia received only 6.6
percent of the vote in the European election last week and did
not make it to the EU parliament.
(Reporting By Marja Novak; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)