Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Ali Zerdin

Slovenians choose president with no clear winner in sight

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Voters in Slovenia on Sunday cast ballots to elect a new president of the European Union nation, with three main contenders leading the race but no clear winner in sight.

Though the presidency is largely ceremonial in Slovenia, Sunday's vote is still seen as a test for its liberal government amid a soaring crisis fueled by the war in Ukraine.

A populist opposition politician has led pre-election polls but none of the contenders appears set to win more than half of the ballots. This means a runoff vote likely will be held in three weeks featuring the two best-placed candidates.

Surveys put right-wing former foreign minister Anze Logar on 30%, followed by centrist independent candidate Natasa Pirc Musar with around 20% and government-backed Social Democrat Milan Brglez with 17%.

The three have emerged as favorites among seven candidates. Analysts expect Logar to make it to the runoff but say his opponent could be either Pirc Musar or Brglez who are polling close to one another.

Slovenia's 1.7 million eligible voters will eventually pick a successor to incumbent Borut Pahor. He has served two full five-year terms and was banned from running for a third.

While in office, Pahor tried to bridge Slovenia's left-right divide that remains a source of political tension in the traditionally moderate and stable nation of 2 million.

Logar, who served under right-wing Prime Minister Janez Jansa, has sought to shake off a populist image and present himself as a unifier. Logar's victory would deal a blow to the current liberal government that ousted Jansa from power six months ago.

Moderate voters are expected to rally in the runoff behind whoever emerges as Logar's opponent. Left and liberal-leaning Slovenes view Jansa as a non-democratic and divisive figure.

If Pirc Musar wins, she will become the first female president of Slovenia since the country became independent from the former Yugoslavia in 1991.

Brglez, who is a member of European Parliament, entered the race late in the campaign after an initial government favorite withdrew, citing private reasons.

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.