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Slovenia's prime minister to step down on Monday

Slovenia's Prime Minister Alenka Bratusek arrives during a news conference in Ljubljana April 29, 2014. REUTERS/Srdjan Zivulovic
Slovenia's Prime Minister Alenka Bratusek arrives during a news conference in Ljubljana April 29, 2014. REUTERS/Srdjan Zivulovic

BRDO PRI KRANJU, Slovenia (Reuters) - Slovenia's Prime Minister Alenka Bratusek said on Saturday that she would step down from her post on May 5 after losing a contest for her party leadership.

She also urged lawmakers not to nominate a new prime minister-designate who would try to form a new government, in an attempt to increase the chances of an election being held quickly.

Bratusek said earlier this week she wanted to see elections held before the summer, if possible, following her defeat by Ljubljana mayor Zoran Jankovic in a contest for the leadership of the Pozitivna Slovenija party last weekend.

"I call upon all the deputies to give up their right to propose a new prime minister-designate, so that we hold elections as soon as possible," Bratusek said on Saturday after a meeting of the centre-left coalition partners comprising her cabinet.

"There is no reason to panic as we have stabilized public finances," she told reporters.

Bratusek's policies helped stave off the need for an international bailout last year, when the budget deficit soared to 14.7 percent and the state injected 3.3 billion euros ($4.6 billion) of its own funds into troubled local banks.

One of the government's main tasks now is to cut the budget deficit to 4.2 percent of gross domestic product this year, in line with EU demands.

However, analysts warn the current political crisis could slow the pace of reforms.

($1 = 0.7212 euros)

(Reporting by Almir Demirovic; Writing by Igor Ilic in Zagreb; Editing by Pravin Char)

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