Bratušek, Alenka (Slovenia)
Alenka Bratušek, leader of the Positive Slovenia party (PS), became prime minister in March 2013 after the previous government fell to a no confidence vote. Heading a four-party coalition covering a wide spectrum of political opinion, Bratušek pledged to balance austerity policies with measures to boost growth.
Born on 31 March 1970 in Celje, Alenka Bratušek graduated from the faculty of natural sciences and technology at Ljubljana University in the early 1990s and earned a master’s degree in management from the same institution in 2006. Entering public administration in 1995, she took a job at the ministry of the economy before moving to the ministry of finance in 1999. She became head of the ministry’s budget directorate, responsible for administering the national budget, overseeing local government finances and drawing on European Union funding.
Bratušek stood unsuccessfully for parliament for the Zares party in 2008. Having joined the newly formed PS in 2011, she was elected to parliament in the election of Dec. that year when the PS unexpectedly claimed the largest share of the vote. However, the party was unable to form a government and went into opposition to Janez Janša’s centre-right administration. In this period, Bratušek chaired the commission for public finance control and served on the committee for finance and monetary policy, as well as on the committee for justice, public administration and local self-government.
Following the publication of a report that alleged corruption against both Prime Minister Janša and PS leader Zoran Janković, Bratušek replaced Janković as acting party leader in Jan. 2013. When the government fell to a no confidence vote in Feb. 2013, Bratušek led all-party negotiations and emerged as leader of a broad coalition, uniting the centre-left PS and Social Democrats (SD) with the right-leaning Civic List (DL) and the Democratic Party of Pensioners of Slovenia (DeSUS).
Bratušek was voted in as prime minister on 20 March 2013 with the backing of 52 of 90 MPs. She took office with the country facing acute economic problems. She has sought to address the immediate financial crisis while implementing policies to secure long-term stability. In May she put forward a set of measures including an increase in value added tax, a major privatization programme and a restructuring of the troubled banking sector to arrest its capital shortfall and avoid the need for an EU/IMF financial rescue package. In Nov. 2013 her government won a parliamentary vote of confidence.
Bratušek resigned as prime minister on 3 May 2014, after losing the leadership of the Positive Slovenia party to its founder Zoran Janković in a vote held a week earlier. She remained in her post in a caretaker capacity until 18 Sept. 2014, when Miro Cerar, who had won early parliamentary elections in July, was named premier.