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.
Although the office is mostly ceremonial, the president leads the army and also nominates several top officials, including the central bank governor. Most of his nominations have to be confirmed by parliament.
The vote amounted to a warning for Prime Minister Miro Cerar and his Party of Modern Centre (SMC) before the general election due next June or July. Its candidate, Education Minister Maja Makovec Brencic, took only 1.7 percent of the vote and came seventh out of nine candidates.