Slovenians choose president with no clear winner in sight
Slovenians head to the polls for a historic election to vote for their new president on Sunday.
But with a tight race, analysts warn that the country could return to a long period of instability and political paralysis during the next four years.
In order to win over the two-thirds majority needed to take office, President Danilo Turk and Prime Minister Borut Pahor will need to do well in their home and ex-parliamentary provinces, which account for at least 75 percent of the vote but a majority of seats.
That leaves Turk and Pahor — who are vying to continue the legacy of his leftist predecessor, Janez Janša, and form a coalition — with a big challenge in the former Yugoslav republic’s centre, where just 10 percent of the vote has been counted.
In contrast, all candidates appear to have won or at least held firm in their respective home provinces, where two-thirds of the country’s citizens are registered.
Turk, 63, was elected in 2014 on a platform of improving people’s living standards and addressing the country’s longstanding, but worsening, corruption and inequality crises.
His victory was largely thanks to the turnout strategy pioneered and adopted by his predecessor.
His main political opponent is former prime minister and ex-president Boris Tadić, who was first elected in 2012.
While Tadić would no doubt prefer to run in the centre, his most plausible challenger, Zoran Thaler, is from the right of the political spectrum, while Prime Minister Pahor, 54, hails from the communists and so would be seen as an outlier.
The polls opened on Sunday morning at 6 a.m., marking the second Sunday of the campaign. A total of around 17 candidates are in the fray and more than half of the voters will be casting their ballots.