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’s leaders agreed to hold snap elections on July 13, even though it is the height of the summer holiday season, after Prime Minister Alenka Bratusek lost the support of her centre-left Positive Slovenia (PS) party and resigned in May.
During her year in office, Slovenia avoided a much-dreaded bailout and recapitalised its largest state-owned banks. But public debt increased to 70 percent of gross domestic product in 2013, and little was done to halt the decline in quality of life for ordinary Slovenians amid crippling austerity measures and high unemployment.
Observers warn that, regardless of the election results, more turmoil lies ahead for the former Yugoslav republic. “I deeply doubt these elections will bring more political stability. In fact, we may face (fresh early elections) even faster than we did now,” Matevz Tomsic, a professor at the Nova Gorica School of Social Sciences, told AFP.
Full Article: Slovenia set for snap polls unlikely to end turmoil.