SLOVENIA: Natasa Pirc Musar, a liberal lawyer and former data privacy commissioner, was chosen as Slovenia’s first female president. She defeated her conservative opponent Ane Logar in a runoff election on Sunday.
With 99% of the votes in, Natasa Pirc Musar had 53.8% of the vote over conservative veteran Ane Logar’s 46.1%, giving her the lead.
Both candidates were supported by the center-left and right-wing political blocs of the small, 2 million-person country in eastern Europe that has been a member of the EU for 15 years, although they had both run as independents.
Logar won the first round in October despite falling short of the necessary majority. Logar served as foreign minister in the previous administration of right-wing populist former prime minister Janez Jana.
However, surveys conducted in recent weeks showed that Pirc Musar was receiving more public support. There were rumors that Logar was suffering due to his inability to separate himself from his divisive former boss and close associate of Viktor Orbán, the far-right premier of Hungary.
Robert Golob, the ecological prime minister of Slovenia who took over for Jana in June, had previously expressed concern that a vote for the conservative candidate would send his nation back into “dark days.” At 50.6%, turnout on Sunday was higher than it was in the previous election in 2017.
Pirc Musar, a former journalist and host of Slovenia’s primary news show who was born in Ljubljana, completed a Ph.D. in law at Vienna University after gaining additional training at CNN and Salford University’s media department. In 2004, she was chosen to serve as Slovenia’s commissioner for public information access.
During her husband’s term as US president, she was also engaged in defending the interests of Melania Trump, a Slovenian-born woman, by preventing businesses from trying to market goods bearing her name.
She and her husband’s lucrative network of businesses have received much media attention during the election campaign amid claims that they invested some of their wealth in tax havens.