Voters in Slovenia went to the polls on Sunday to decide a runoff election between a sitting president deeply rooted in the political establishment and a former actor who had appealed to the electorate by tapping into concern about the struggling economy. With all votes counted after the polls closed at 7 p.m. local time, the incumbent, Borut Pahor — described by one news media outlet as Europe’s Instagram president — received nearly 53 percent, according to results published by Slovenia’s National Election Commission. His rival, Marjan Sarec, the former actor and mayor of a small town north of the capital, Ljubljana, received a little more than 47 percent of the vote.
Articles about voting issues in the Republic of Slovenia.
Slovenian leader Borut Pahor will compete against comedian-turned-mayor Marjan Sarec for the presidency in a runoff despite winning the first round by a wide margin. Pahor won 47 percent, the election commission in the euro-area country of 2 million people said on Sunday. That fell short of the majority needed to clinch re-election in the first round. Sarec was runner up with 25 percent, and the two will face off again on Nov. 12. Forced out of government six years ago, when voters rejected his plan to address a financial crisis that almost drove the country into a Greece-like international bailout, Pahor, 53, has staged a comeback. He was elected to the mostly ceremonial presidency a year later and has built a strong lead in opinion polls.
Slovenian President Borut Pahor will face a second-round election on Nov. 12 after he fell short of a majority in Sunday’s first round, as he tries to win a second five-year mandate. With 99 percent of the vote counted, according to the State Election Commission, Pahor had 47.1 percent of the vote. In next month’s runoff, he will face Marjan Sarec, the mayor of the city of Kamnik, who took 25 percent. Turnout reached 43.5 percent. The result contradicted exit polls by TV Slovenia that showed Pahor winning in the first round. “In the second round anything is possible, although Pahor is a big favorite,” Peter Jancic, the editor of political website Spletni Casopis told Reuters.
Slovenia rejected on Sunday a law that would give same-sex couples the right to marry and adopt children in its second vote on gay rights in four years. About 63.4 percent of voters rejected the law in a referendum while 36.6 percent supported it, a preliminary result of the State Electoral Commission showed after 99 percent of votes were counted. Parliament passed a law in March giving same-sex couples the right to marry and adopt children but the measures have not been enforced because a civil society group called For Children appealed to the top court, calling for a referendum.
EU politicians, including European commissioner Violeta Bulc, are urging Slovenia to back same-sex marriage as early voting begins Tuesday on a referendum that could overturn a controversial marriage equality law. If the country supports gay marriage — as Irish voters did in May 2015 — Slovenia would break new ground, becoming the first Central European, Slavic and post-Communist nation to do so. In contrast, more than 10 Western European countries have implemented same-sex marriage laws. The referendum results will be released Sunday. Voters are deciding whether to uphold a Slovenian law passed in March that legalizes gay marriage.
Slovenia: Recently Formed Center-Left Party Wins Slovenian Parliamentary Election | Wall Street Journal
A recently formed center-left party in Slovenia, started by a newcomer in politics, scored a landslide victory in a parliamentary election Sunday amid voters’ distrust in established parties and unease over state asset sales in this small euro zone-state, preliminary results of nearly 90% of votes counted by the State Election Commission showed. The result, if confirmed, can make Miro Cerar, a 50-year-old law professor, the country’s fourth prime minister since the 2008 start of a global downturn. Mr. Cerar, whose father is the country’s well-known Olympic medalist, launched his eponymous Party of Miro Cerar just five weeks ago. He quickly became popular among voters looking for a new leader untarnished by corruption scandals that have dogged some incumbent parties.
The six-week-old party of Slovenian political newcomer Miro Cerar won a snap election on pledges to reconsider the state-asset sales that helped sink the previous government. Cerar’s party got 35 percent of the vote, beating jailed ex-Premier Janez Jansa’s Slovenian Democratic Party, which got 21 percent, the State Election Commission said yesterday with 99.9 percent of ballots counted. Karl Erjavec’s pensioners party, Desus, was third with 10 percent, while the United Left was fourth with 6 percent, according to the commission, based in Ljubljana, the capital. Turnout was 51 percent, it said. Cerar is set to form the fourth coalition government since 2008 in the former Yugoslav republic of 2 million, which pushed through a 3.2 billion-euro ($4.4 billion) banking rescue last year to avoid a bailout similar to fellow euro members Greece and Cyprus. His pledge to review outgoing Premier Alenka Bratusek’s privatization plan risks friction with the European Union, which backed the proposals to help bolster state coffers.
Jolanka Horvat has watched her home region of Pomurje, in Slovenia’s northeast, slide deeper into poverty and joblessness over the past few years. And the 53-year-old seamstress has little hope of change after Slovenia’s snap election this weekend, the third in less than three years. “Our kids will have to go abroad to make a living,” the mother of two told AFP ahead of Sunday’s vote. “I expect nothing from this nor any other government… they just make promises but nothing happens,” she said, a refrain echoed around the country. Once a model member of the European Union which it joined in 2004, Slovenia was hit hard by the 2008 financial crisis and narrowly escaped a bailout last year.
Slovenians head to the polls on Sunday faced with a choice between a political novice and a former prime minister serving time for corruption and with little hope of returning their troubled country to stability. The vote will be the second early elections in three years for Slovenia, a once model member of the European Union that has been on a downward spiral since the 2008 financial crisis. Miro Cerar, a prestigious law professor, is favoured to win despite his lack of political experience, and analysts predict that any new government will not last long, spelling further instability for the small nation of two million. The Miro Cerar Party, which he founded only in June, is expected to win between 29 and 37 percent of the vote, according to the latest polls. The main opposition centre-right Slovenian Democratic Party, whose leader, former prime minister Janez Jansa, began serving a two-year prison sentence just last month, is meanwhile polling at 15 to 24 percent.
Slovenia is halting all privatizations until a new government is formed after a snap election on July 13, outgoing Prime Minister Alenka Bratusek said on Thursday, drawing a sharp response from the finance minister in her own government. Analysts said the move was aimed at raising Bratusek’s popularity with voters, who generally oppose attempts to sell local companies. Finance Minister Uros Cufer called the decision a part of “pre-election hysteria”. The decision could ultimately deter investors or bring down the prices of companies sold, analysts said, and delay much needed revenue for a country that had to inject 3.3 billion euros ($4.5 billion) into its banks in December to avoid an international bailout.