Slovenian president dealt election blo
LJUBLJANA - Agence France-Presse
Pahor says the confidence of the people is higher than he had expected after the first round of elections. AP photoSlovenia’s president slipped to a surprise second in the first round of elections on Nov. 11 held as the small ex-Yugoslav republic, once a model newcomer to the eurozone, battles to avoid needing a bailout.
With 97 percent of votes counted, President Danilo Turk looked to have won 36 percent of the vote, behind former premier Borut Pahor on 40 percent. Third-placed Milan Zver scored 24 percent.
Turk, an independent, and Pahor, whose centre-left government collapsed in late 2011, now face a close-to-call runoff on Dec. 2. “The number of votes has strongly exceeded my expectations. Let me tell you that with my firm work and attitude I will try to exceed your expectations,” Pahor said.
“I believe the message from this vote is: all together we can achieve more than we can imagine.” Turk expressed confidence that he would win the runoff, saying that the low voter turnout, 47.3 percent compared to 57.7 percent in 2007, was “a warning that people are disappointed with our politics and our state.” The election was held as Slovenia suffers one of the deepest recessions in the eurozone, which it joined in 2007. Slovenia’s credit ratings have been cut, mostly because of worries about the country’s banks, and borrowing rates on its sovereign debt have hit seven percent, a level regarded as unsustainable in the long term without assistance.