Slovenian ex-PM Pahor wins presidency

By bne IntelliNews December 3, 2012

bne -

Former Slovenian Prime Minister Borut Pahor has won an emphatic victory in the country's presidential run-off election. With almost all votes counted, Pahor polled 67%, trouncing incumbent President Danilo Turk's 33%.

The second round of the presidential election came amid protests over the parlous economy and alleged government corruption. Slovenia is facing one of the Eurozone's deepest recessions, with GDP shrinking more than 8% since 2009. The country has been busy rejecting claims that it is a good bet to be the fifth Eurozone country to require a bailout.

A poor turnout did much to help Pahor, who was prime minister until last year, win the vote. Reflecting the popular anger directed at the political class over Slovenia's dire economic performance, no more than one in three eligible voters made it to the polls which, BBC reports.

Addressing that mood, Pahor told supporters that Slovenia would emerge from the gloom. "The moment when Slovenian men and women, citizens of Slovenia, beat this crisis - and we will beat it eventually - we will again have the confidence we felt when we established our country and we will rise among the stars of Europe."

In the run-up to the election, protests were held across the country against the harsh austerity measures being implemented by the current centre-right government, as well as allegations of corruption. Thirty-three people were charged with public order offences after trouble in Ljubljana on November 30, while a protest earlier in the week in Maribor attracted thousands and turned violent.

On December 3, protesters announced they are set to take to the streets in Celje, Ptuj, and Ravne na Koroskem, on top of fresh new protests scheduled in Maribor and Ljubljana.

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