Slovenians vote at presidential election
October 22 2017 10:25 AM
A man walks past presidential election campaign posters in Ljubljana
A man walks past presidential election campaign posters in Ljubljana

AFP/Ljubljana

Slovenian citizens started voting Sunday in a presidential election in which incumbent head of state Borut Pahor was expected to be re-elected.

Some 1.7 million citizens were eligible to cast their vote, with partial results expected later in the evening.

Polls have put the 53-year-old internet-savvy Pahor, first elected to the largely ceremonial presidency in 2012, close to or above the 50 percent needed for an outright victory.

His nearest rival, former comic actor and Kamnik mayor Marjan Sarec, is projected to get 21 percent, according to a survey in the Delo daily.

Pahor's campaign has seen him walk 700 kilometres (435 miles) around the country chatting to voters while posting photos and videos to legions of followers on social media.

Pahor stepped down as prime minister in 2011 after his government collapsed in the midst of the global financial crisis that drove Slovenia close to needing a bailout.

But the following year he won a surprise victory in presidential elections, standing as an independent candidate backed by the Social Democrats (SD) party.

The president of the small former Yugoslav republic has a mostly ceremonial role although the holder can propose and appoint some state officials and heads the army in case of war.

If none of the nine contendents wins an outright majority of at least 50 percenton Sunday, a runoff between the two leading candidates will be held on November 12.



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