Slovenia goes to the polls

CHRISTIAN BRUNA

Slovenian President Borut Pahor during a joint press conference in Salzburg, Austria, 18 July 2017.

Pahor is looking for a second term, facing a new challenger on his left


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Slovenes are going to the polls on Sunday to vote for the country’s President.

According to the polls, the incumbent Borut Pahor, 53, is likely to get a second five-year term.

Pahor he is facing eight contenders. His most formidable challenger is the Mayor of Kamnic, Marjan Sarec. He entered politics as a comedian before entering local politics in 2010. He is considered left of center. His result will depend on turnout, as most of his electorate are young people, Reuters reports.

Although the post is considered ceremonial, direct elections mean the President has individual clout. Formally, the President is also the head of the armed forces and is responsible for key appointments, including the Governor of the Central Bank.

The main question on Sunday is whether Pahor, a Social Democrat, will be able to gain little over 50% of the vote or there will be a need for a second round on November 12. Before running for President, Pahor led a coalition government as Prime Minister (2008-2012).

During his term, Pahor managed to avoid an international bailout for Slovenia in 2013. Currently, the economy is growing much faster than the Eurozone average at 3,8%. Wages are surging, although youth unemployment remains in double-digits.

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