Police used water canon to break up rock-throwing protesters in Slovenia’s capital on Friday after a rally against budget cuts and alleged corruption turned violent two days ahead of a presidential election. Officers said it was the first time they had used that level of crowd control since the country’s independence from Yugoslavia in 1991 and 15 people, mostly policemen, were injured. Thousands of Slovenians took to the streets in Ljubljana and six other cities in the financially troubled euro zone country, the latest in a series of protests.
Articles about voting issues in the Republic of Slovenia.
Slovenia’s prime minister is on trial accused of involvement in a bribery scandal. The main opposition leader – who is also mayor of the capital – is under investigation for alleged corruption. So is the mayor of the EU nation’s second-largest city. Slovenes say they have had enough. Chanting “Thieves!” several thousand people took to the streets again Monday in this small, crisis-hit Alpine state, rejecting what they call the country’s “corrupt elite.” Thousands also took to the streets last week in what has become biggest outburst of public discontent in decades, outrages that has seriously shaken the nation once praised for its smooth transition from communism to market economy.
Slovenia: Thousands protest in Slovenia fueling tensions ahead of runoff presidential election | The Washington Post
Clashes broke out Friday night in the Slovenian capital of Ljubljana as angry demonstrators tried to push through a police cordon to storm parliament. Several protesters were arrested and police fought to disperse the crowd, which was throwing rocks, bottles and firecrackers at them. Tensions have been soaring ahead of this weekend’s presidential runoff in the small, economically struggling EU nation. Thousands joined the protests Friday against Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa and his Cabinet, accusing them of corruption and fraud and demanding their resignations.
No candidate appeared to win an outright majority in Sunday’s presidential election in Slovenia, and a runoff is expected next month between the incumbent and a former prime minister. Former Prime Minister Borut Pahor was first with 40 percent of the vote, followed by President Danilo Turk, with 36.2 percent and center-right candidate Milan Zver at 24 percent, the state election commission said after 99.9 percent of the ballots were counted. If that outcome holds when the commission announces the official results in the coming days, a runoff between the top two candidates will be held on Dec. 2.
No candidate appeared to win an outright majority in Sunday’s presidential election in Slovenia, and a runoff is expected next month between the incumbent and a former prime minister. Former Prime Minister Borut Pahor was first with 40 percent of the vote, followed by President Danilo Turk, with 36.2 percent and center-right candidate Milan Zver at 24 percent, the state election commission said after 99.9 percent of the ballots were counted.
Slovenia’s main opposition leader was among five people briefly detained Thursday in an alleged multimillion-dollar corruption investigation into the building of a sports complex, investigators said. Police searched Zoran Jankovic’s house and his office in the capital, Ljubliana, where he is also mayor. His son, Jure Jankovic, a businessman, was also detained. Robert Crepinko, head of the National Bureau of Investigation, said police searched 23 homes in Slovenia in the probe into suspected irregularities with the sports hall in Ljubljana.
Slovenia: Slovenia’s legal framework provides sound basis for democratic elections, some aspects could benefit from further review, says ODIHR final report | OSCE
Slovenia’s early parliamentary polls on 4 December 2011 showed that the legislative framework provided a sound basis for the conduct of democratic elections, although certain aspects could benefit from further review. These are the conclusions of the final report released by the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights on 7 February 2012. The report says that the election administration appeared to work efficiently and impartially while a wide selection of registered candidates provided a pluralism of choice for voters. The registration of candidate lists was inclusive and accommodated the appearance of new parties on the political scene. However, the report says that the provision of dual voting rights to citizens belonging to the Italian and Hungarian minorities diverges from the fundamental OSCE commitment regarding the equality of the vote and is at odds with international good practice.
Slovenia’s prime minister urged all political sides in the tiny EU state Friday to reach an agreement on early elections, after his coalition suffered a new blow this week.
“The political sphere has to reach an agreement on how to appoint a new government through early elections,” Borut Pahor wrote in a commentary published in the daily Vecer. ”In the current complicated circumstances, a political crisis is a luxury we cannot afford and we have to take quick and energetic steps.”