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Slovenia's centre-left Prime Minister Alenka Bratusek said Tuesday she will resign after losing her party's leadership, but wants to ensure fresh elections before the summer vacation.
"Early elections are a fact and it would be right that citizens say who shall have the country's destiny in its hands over the following four years," Bratusek told journalists following a meeting with President Borut Pahor.
The pair discussed the fallout of her defeat over the weekend at the hands of Ljubljana mayor Zoran Jankovic for the leadership of the ruling Positive Slovenija (PS) party.
There is broad support across the four-party ruling coalition for early elections, but Bratusek said she is waiting to ensure they can be held before the summer holiday in order to have a smooth transition.
"If there is a chance to hold snap elections before the summer, I would be absolutely ready to resign right now," she said.
The 44-year-old is the first female premier of Slovenia, and has led the coalition since March last year after centre-right prime minister Janez Jansa's government collapsed amid corruption allegations.
Ahead of a PS congress on Saturday, Bratusek had warned she would resign if she lost the leadership contest.
The newly elected PS leader Jankovic is the one figure still opposing early elections, saying on Monday that Bratusek should continue to the end of her mandate in autumn 2015.
He may fear the party's prospects, given that Bratusek has said she will leave the PS and take 13 of its 26 parliament members with her.
"The situation in the country right now is such that early elections should cause no panic," she said, referring to the fact that her government avoided an international bailout last December after recapitalising the country's state-owned banks.
If Bratusek steps down, the country's president has a 30-day deadline to propose a new candidate. If no candidate wins a majority support in parliament, the president can call early elections.